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tech talk Learn more at Complying With The Enacted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011. The piece of legislation aims to ensure that food supply in America, and worldwide, is safe from bacteria, illness or adverse side effect as a result of contaminated or spoiled food. Rather than responding to contamination, the act focuses on effective prevention of food safety issues at the source. This is an aggressive approach to an age-old problem. Thus, the FSMA should be of concern for those in the packaging industry. Food Safety Modernization Act Compliance can sometimes seem daunting for companies, but there are easy and proven methods to abide by the act. Here, we will discuss how making the switch from metal to plastic bearings in the packaging world can be a significant step towards meeting the terms of the act through eliminating corrosion, external lubricants and other possible sources of contamination. Five Easy and Proven Ways to Comply to the FSMA: 1) Eliminate Lubrication: Adding external lubricants to metal machinery is a major risk in the packaging industry. Lubricants have led to contamination in facilities, resulting in large fines and even shutdowns of the facilities. By switching from metal bearings to plastic bearings, companies can eliminate this risk from the start since no lubricants would be present to get into the food or drugs. There have been multiple cases of fines being handed out for lubricants in food packaging, including a multiple dollar fine for a processor of vegetables. These fines were handed out after the enactment, but it would have been best to be already eliminating lubricants to avoid any possible fines. Eliminating this potential source of contamination is an important step towards compliance with the act and mitigating costs for food suppliers. 2) Eliminate Corrosion: All types of metals eventually corrode when reacting with their external environments. When this inevitably happens, the chemicals that decompose off of the metal (which are loaded with contaminants) can spoil the products being packaged. Contaminants caused by corrosion can even include lead, resulting in a life- threatening illness if consumed. In addition to the FSMA, RohS compliance is becoming a very crucial topic, and metallic bearings containing lead are not in compliance. By using FDA and RohS compliant material, it will be clear that mitigation is happening.

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