FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
FIBR received many inquiries from Members and others. Here are some of the most often asked questions that you might have. If you do not find your answer, please feel free to contact us.
FIBR looks like a great organization for food processors, but what is the value for someone who is not a food processor?
Yes, the core membership and purpose of FIBR is for Southern California Food Processors. However, anyone with an interest in the food industry is welcome to become a member and/or take part in our many educational forums and networking opportunities. Many other food industry colleagues participate in our programs, including wholesalers, grocers, restaurants, financial and educational institutions and many others. Sign up for our contact list today, join us for an upcoming event and see if FIBR is for you.
I am a new entrepreneur interested in selling my homemade products, what laws do I need to follow?
Effective January, 2013, the Cottage Food Law will take effect. The law is specific about which products you are allowed to produce at home, food safety requirements and volume of sales limits. For specifics, we encourage you to contact your local health departments to get started. Click here to see details.
I have started new construction for a food facility (or am renovating my existing food facility), where can I find information to help me save time and money as I begin this process?
FIBR, in co-operations with the Regional Wholesale Food Processors Committee, has created the Construction Guide for Wholesale Food Facilities, which is a great place to get started. Your City and County Health Department Plan Check Departments are always good places to start.
Additionally, the RWFPC has also created the Environmental Compliance Guidebook for Wholesale Food Facilities, which is also a good reference manual.
What do I need to know about the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act?
GMP, SSOP and HACCP training is the first step toward achieving food safety excellence for food manufacturers. There is significant importance in the continuation of your company’s food safety training. Your company team should take steps now to be prepared for all the new regulations that will be required under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Under FSMA all food processors will be required to have HACCP.
Effective October 22, 2012 All domestic and foreign manufacturers, processors, packers or holders of food for human or animal consumption, must register (if not registered) or renew their registration with the FDA. There is no fee to register or renew the registration of a food facility. Facilities can register online, via mail or fax. FDA encourages online registration as a quick and efficient means for food facility registration. Please check FDA’s food facility registration website for more information and to register online.
For those who do not fall under the processing guidelines, warehouses for example, will be required to have a risk assessment program in place. A Risk Assessment program from FIBR is in the development stages. In the meantime, HACCP training will help you define the tools needed for that risk assessment requirement.
More specific answers can be found on the FDA website's FAQ Page.
The FSMA has many aspects beyond HACCP, once the FDA publishes the Regulations, FIBR will be holding a workshop with FIBR members.
Do You have to be a FIBR member to attend FIBR Programs and Food Safety Courses?
No, FIBR programs are open to the Public. The advantages of being a FIBR member are the discounts you receive for programs and services, access to FIBR's Members Only Section, a listing on our website and much more. See Benefits of Membership to find out more!
I want to sell my products, but don’t want to invest in cost of owning and operating my own processing plant, what are my options?
Use a Co-packer! These are food processing facilities who can work with you to produce your product, under your brand – this gives you the freedom to focus on the other aspects of running your business, like marketing your products.
Please be advised that there are many different co-packing arrangements. Do your homework, find out who specializes in your type of product, what are the minimum runs needed? And consider seeking the advice of counsel before you sign any agreements.
Many of FIBR’s members are co-packers. Please visit our FIBR Co-packers Page to see a list.
If I have a wholesale processing registration with the state, would I need to also have a HACCP program if I do fish processing or bottle juices?
Yes. Click here for more info on FIBR Food Safety Training Institute's HACCP course.
If I have a processed food registration with the state would I need any additional wholesale processing permits?
Yes depending on the location of the wholesale processing site additional licensing would also be required by Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange County as well as the City of Vernon.
I have a processing plant with a retail component, are there different rules for each?
Absolutely, and you need to be sure you are being compliant in both areas. Typically for the retail components, you will fall under the compliance rules of your local health department. For processing, you could fall under a number of jurisdictions (depending on your product), it could include your local health department, as well as State and Federal Agencies.
Retail, Wholesale and Food Processing Food Facilities have many different regulations from each other. Please be sure to work with your regulatory agencies to assure compliance.
FIBR is working with our regulatory partners to develop a roadmap to help you determine which agencies your operation would fall under and be registered with.
I have a Retail Food Facility, do you have any information to help me?
For Retail Food Facilities, always check with your local County Health Department who regulates your industry. Click here for a list of local Health Departments.
You may also want to visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Their Constituent Updates are online here.