The Acheson Group, LLC (TAG), led by Dr. David Acheson, is a strategic consulting  firm for food and beverage companies and those providing technical support to the food industry. With a focus on strategic risk management, TAG provides the latest food safety consulting insights in a global environment in providing Operational Risk management, Reputational risk management, and Regulatory Risk services—all with the goal of achieving brand protection. TAG works with all supply chain segments, from farm to manufacturers, retail and food services providers – domestic and foreign – all focused on providing first rate services in a cost- conscious environment.

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Recalls Are On the Rise. Is Your Focus on Recall Planning and Preparation Increasing at the Same Pace?

It can’t come as a surprise to anyone in the food industry that the ever-increasing globalization of the food supply chain is making traceability and recall management increasingly complex. Nor should it surprise anyone that as this complexity increases it creates risk. What may be more of a revelation is that, according to a new

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Will Mandatory GMO Labeling Be Banned? Should It?

As more states are getting into the act of moving in a direction of requiring GMO labeling of some type, the pressure on the food industry is increasing. As we have said in the past, the idea of having 50 different ways to label any food product in the U.S. is not realistic from a

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Should You Allow FDA to Take Photographs of Your Facility?

We often get asked this very question – should we allow FDA to take pictures of our facility during an inspection? This is often accompanied by a comment that it is against our company policy to allow that, but can we stop the FDA if they want to take pictures. This then leads to the

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How Do You Graciously Push Back in an FDA Inspection?

There are approximately 30,000 food and beverage manufacturing facilities in the U.S. regulated by either the FDA or USDA along with many more distribution centers. While in reality, there are not enough agency resources to inspect all FDA regulated facilities (plus foreign facilities from which food is imported), it can seem that the inspectors may be cloned and already out in full force even before the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is in full throttle with all the rules fully in effect. A part of this real-time reality is that FDA gained increased authority for records access effective immediately upon signing of FSMA in January of 2011 and some companies have yet to get the memo. While having to provide a vast array of records for a federal agency inspection is not likely to be considered a fun time by many, it is important to understand what FDA has authority to access and what it doesn’t. And how to answer that burning question that several clients ask TAG: What do you do if you feel that FDA is overreaching its authority? How do you graciously push back in an FDA inspection?