Food Safety & Gov't Regulations


Expert advice on how to comply with FDA regs

Paul Post, Peter Gregg | October 1, 2018

Sugarmakers who produce more than 50 percent of their crop for the bulk market need to comply with the new Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. The deadline to register with the FDA was Sept. 17.

But then what?

Kathy Hopkins of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension advises sugarmakers to have a good, well-documented Food Safety Plan and adhere to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP). FDA inspectors can inspect sugarhouses unannounced at any time.

"“Protect yourself,"” she said during a seminar last winter. "“If an FDA inspector makes a random visit and sees dust, dirt, peeling paint and no Food Safety Plan they can withdraw your exemption and force compliance with the FSMA. They’'re not there to make your life difficult. They'’re there to protect consumers.”"

If FDA shows up at your sugarhouse, common courtesy should prevail.

“"Remember, be nice,"” Hopkins said. "“You can more flies with honey than vinegar."” MORE ]


Deadline passes for FDA registration

Peter Gregg | September 17, 2018

DURHAM, N.H.—It’s deadline day.

Maple producers had a deadline of Sept. 17, to register with the FDA as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“The FDA is saying that it is a prohibited act not to be in compliance with the rule,” said Heather Bryant, an extension agent with the University of New Hampshire who is working with producers in her state to get sugarmakers in accordance with the new law.

The rule applies to sugarmakers across the U.S.

Most sugarmakers had been informed that the deadline to comply was in November, but that was incorrect. MORE ]


URGENT: FDA looking to tarnish pure maple image

Peter Gregg | June 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Proposed FDA regulations require that single ingredient foods such as maple syrup be required to declare the product contains “added sugars” even through there are none.

In new labeling laws, now under consideration, the FDA will make producers declare that syrup has up to 23 grams of “added sugars.”

This untrue statement could have a devastating impact on sales, industry officials say. MORE ]


Sugarmakers deal with compliance conundrum

Paul Post | Nov. 11, 2017

A prominent Connecticut maple producer has spent considerable time and money bringing his sugarhouse into compliance with new Food Safety Modernization Act standards.

The federal bill was passed in 2011 and took effect in November 2015. The largest operations had to comply by last November, while mid- and small-sized businesses have until this fall or November 2018, respectively. MORE ]


Food & Drug Admin. puts the squeeze on maple registration 

Paul Post | Nov. 10, 2017

The clock is ticking for maple producers throughout the U.S. who must comply with new Food Safety Modernization Act regulations.

The section of the 2011 bill that affects maple producers, called the Preventive Controls Rule, took effect in November 2015. The largest operations had to comply by last November, while mid- and small-sized businesses have until this fall or November 2018, respectively. MORE ]


Quebec federation expands reserve warehouse

Submitted | Oct. 3, 2017

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ) announced that it will expand its plant/warehouse in Laurierville by an additional 32,000 sq. ft., for a total surface area of 267,000 sq. ft.

The expansion comes just two years after the official opening of the facility in October 2013. The additional warehouse space, a $2 million investment by Quebec maple syrup producers, should be ready for its first barrels of syrup by the end of the 2016 sugar season. MORE ]


FDA targets N.H. sugarhouse

Peter Gregg | November 2016

Busted for wooden scoop handles. That was maybe most minor, but the most irksome to the offending sugarmaker, of a number of food safety violations observed by an FDA inspector during a surprise two-day walkthrough of Putnam Brothers Maple in Charlestown, N.H. in July. MORE ]