Interesting article in Wine Spectator describing the growing presensce of the FDA at wineries. Per the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) the FDA needs to perform the first audit of a winery within the first 7 years of existence and then every 5 years after that. This, of course, is a fairly new practice for most wineries. And the FDA has a learning curve too:
Peck described the recent FDA visit as a three-hour inspection of his small winery, invoking standards that sometimes raised his eyebrows. Learning that Peck, like many winemakers, performs crush outdoors, the inspector told him that would have to stop because birds could fly over and poop in the crusher, Peck said. He responded by pointing to his vineyard where birds were sitting on the vines, defecating freely. She spotted his cat and warned that pets are prohibited in the winery. He asked if she’d ever seen the popular book Winery Dogs of Washington.
Ultimately, the inspector required Peck to install a hot-water heater and a hot-water faucet in his cellar. The modifications cost him about $500, but he took it with wry amusement. “It was kind of intriguing,” said Peck, who has given himself the new title of winery food inspection officer. “But let’s make sure the inspectors have some industry knowledge about standard practices.”