The Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC) hosted a conference call yesterday, in response to the FDA Notice related to Hurricanes, Flooding, and Power Outages. The Office of the Texas State Chemist is the State Agency that enforces the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
During the conference call, OTSC stressed that they were available to assist handlers of cereal grains and oilseeds in determining if their feed ingredients would be considered adulterated under FSMA. The statement below was issued by OTSC at the conclusion of the call:
Statement from OTSC:
Assessing the Impact of Hurricane Harvey on Cereal Grains and Oilseeds
Due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey many associations representing producers, grain handlers and processors are working alongside the Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC) to assess the potential impact the flooding has had on cereal grains and oilseeds. Damaged cereal grains and oilseeds containing toxins, chemical adulterants or otherwise, meets the definition of adulterated, thus falling under the authority of the Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control Service of OTSC per the Texas Commercial Feed Control Act (§141.002 and §141.148).
“Our desire is to provide legal certainty to the agriculture community and preserve market quality and integrity during the recovery process,” -State Chemist, Dr. Tim Herrman.
OTSC will assist farmers, grain handlers and processors in assessing damage and provide testing services (e.g., mycotoxin, heavy metals, microbiology) at no cost. Each situation is different; damage may range from none to total. Some loss may be covered by insurance companies or federal agencies that provide loss assessment and will assist producers managing product disposition.
Working with moisture damaged or moldy grain poses a human health hazard as well as numerous worker safety risks ranging from engulfment to oxygen depletion resulting from mold growth. Do not enter grain bins containing water damaged grain without the appropriate precautions. Some of the best expertise involves your local commercial grain elevator operators. Further assistance will be provided by OTSC who is coordinating the farm level response for the Texas All Hazards Rapid Response Team in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Help us preserve market quality in Texas! If your commodity has been touched by any flood waters, contact the Office of the Texas State Chemist at 979 845-1121.
For questions, please contact:
Ben Jones Compliance Officer Office of the Texas State Chemist Phone: 979 845-1121 Website: otsc.tamu.edu