Being a small business person myself, I am all for helping my peers who are working hard to make our businesses successful. The order that comes with rules and regulations intended for Wall Street can be onerous and difficult to manage for those found mostly on the local main streets. However, is it correct for FDA to require less food safety controls for smaller food manufacturers than for the larger ones? I can’t agree that such a principle for regulation is in anyone’s best interests.
First, food doesn’t care much if it comes from a smaller or larger manufacturer. The thresholds for food safety are one and the same. The rules for use of safe ingredients; equipment sanitation; personnel hygiene; and proper food cooking, storage and distribution practices are the same for small and large operators. The consequences of consuming unsafe food are marginally different coming from small or large manufacturers, and only because fewer people may be adversely affected if the distribution system is limited, as is likely the case for a smaller operation. But if you are the one affected and sick with salmonellosis, the impact to you is just as bad. It hurts to be sick.
FDA should be cognizant that regulations can be developed that are cumbersome, difficult and even unrealistic for smaller operators to comply – but the rules should not be made lax just because of an operator’s size. The discipline to deliver safe food preparation and handling is necessary for protecting the public health. Companies who go into the marketplace to sell food need to know that food is perishable and unsafe food makes people sick – and is a liability to their business. If they don’t want to care about food safety, they should sell candles—not cream pies.
Catherine Adams Hutt
RdR Solutions Consulting