BlueNalu, a food company developing a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells, has launched a framework designed to achieve a premier standard of food safety, quality, and traceability for its cell-cultured seafood production.
The San Diego-based company has committed to pursuing third-party certification recognized by the international Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), such as the Safe Quality Food (SQF) or similar programs, as a means to demonstrate the highest possible standards for its safe and trusted cell-cultured seafood products.
GFSI certification programs are voluntary and recognized internationally by leading retailers and foodservice operators for setting standards that go beyond domestic government regulations.
The programmes follow a globally consistent standard for the demonstration of safety and quality and are validated by independent third-party audits.
“BlueNalu aims to be a globally leading cell-cultured seafood producer, recognized for the highest caliber of safety, quality, and traceability,” said Lou Cooperhouse, president & CEO of BlueNalu.
“Food quality and safety are core values at BlueNalu and it is especially important that we not only meet regulatory requirements, but also establish the highest standards to achieve trusted third-party certification.
“We are pleased to announce BlueNalu’s commitment to GFSI certification standards for our cell-cultured seafood.”
Leading these initiatives at BlueNalu is Noreen Hobayan, its director of quality assurance and regulatory affairs, who has over 25 years of diversified experience in worldwide quality systems, standards, and regulations for the food, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries.
Noreen has established a robust quality systems framework for BlueNalu and over 100 procedures and policies designed to ensure product safety and supply chain transparency to prepare the company for both FDA regulatory inspection and third-party certification.
“It’s imperative that we create a culture of food safety and put comprehensive systems in place to enable traceability of our supply chain. We’re committed to laying the groundwork early for a scalable, top-tier food safety and quality management system that we intend to replicate globally in markets that we enter,” said Hobayan.
“By pursuing the highest caliber of safety, quality and traceability in our food production processes, we hope our commitment and leadership raises the industry standard for other companies in our category.”
To aid in preparation for market entry and regulatory compliance, BlueNalu evaluated a number of top quality management solutions and selected TraceGains, a global leader in compliance, quality, and innovation software for food, beverage, and supplement companies.
Their highly configurable system will streamline and strengthen BlueNalu’s regulatory compliance, allowing for quality control and safety data collection and review in a comprehensive electronic database while providing real-time insight into plant floor and quality operations.
The adoption of TraceGains also represents BlueNalu’s shift from pharmaceutical-grade to food-grade sourcing of food-safe components – an important step towards cost reduction that the company anticipates will help it achieve price parity for its cell-cultured seafood products.