New FSMA compliance program launched for biodiesel producers

By Ron Kotrba | April 20, 2018

A new food safety program has been developed by the Iowa Biodiesel Board to help biodiesel producers comply with the U.S. government’s Food Safety Modernization Act, deadlines for which are quickly approaching. Glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production, is often used as an animal-feed or food-grade ingredient. FSMA compliance is necessary for biodiesel producers whose glycerin may end up in the food or feed supply downstream.

This September is FSMA’s Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls deadline for companies with less than 500 full-time employees.

“If you’re a biodiesel producer and there is a reasonable chance that even some of your glycerin is going into the feed or food supply, then you will have to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Tom Brooks, chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel, a plant in Farley, Iowa. “As the largest biodiesel-producing state, the Iowa Biodiesel Board decided we were in a good position to deliver a compliance program to its members, and that it could expand the offering to all biodiesel producers. This is an industry need.”

The compliance process itself is not a simple matter, Brooks said. Covered facilities must develop and implement a written plan that covers hazard analysis, preventative controls, monitoring procedures, corrective action procedures, verification procedures, a supply chain program and a recall plan.

Working with Degart Global, a committee of biodiesel producers, ingredient marketers and food safety experts developed the IBB Food Safety Program. It consists of information, materials and the opportunity for consulting. This program simplifies compliance and reduces cost for biodiesel plants.

Designed to complement an existing BQ-9000 or other quality management systems, the IBB Food Safety Program includes quality management procedure (QMS) templates and examples to guide users who do not have a QMS in place.  

IBB’s package includes step-by-step guidance, templates, forms, standard operating procedures (SOP) and other documented information for hazard analysis and preventive control measures.

The one-time cost ranges from $3,000 to $6,000, and a one-day off-site desk review of the plant’s documents or two-day on-site implementation assistance are available for additional fees. 

“Compared to hiring another third party to build a compliance program for you or trying to do it yourself, IBB’s program is a simple, affordable way to get into compliance,” said Grant Kimberley, IBB executive director. “We hope others outside of Iowa will take advantage of it.” 

A webinar on the new program will be held May 10 at 10:00 am Central time. Click here to register.


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