ATLANTA—Womble Bond Dickinson product liability litigation and food industry regulatory attorney Christine Lawson has added to her list of professional certifications by earning the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) Qualified Individual certification. She also recently completed the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course.
The FSVP certification program is administered by the Food Safety Preventative Controls Alliance. Participants receive focused training on complying with FDA rules on the safe importing of food to the US. Food importers must meet a rigorous set of regulatory guidelines designed to ensure that imported food is produced, shipped and stored in a manner that complies with US safety requirements.
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) has developed the standardized national produce safety training program to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements in the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
Lawson’s practice includes counseling food companies on regulatory compliance and reviews, guiding food companies through administrative hearings related to product safety concerns, conducting inspections (including responses to warning letters and 483s), and advising food businesses on labeling and impounding disputes relating to food imports.
“The Foreign Supplier Verification Program certification will be extremely useful when with clients that import food or supplements into the US,” Lawson said. The nation imports approximately 19 percent of its food supply from other countries, according to the FDA.
“Likewise, my training with the Produce Safety Alliance will help in working with companies regarding the safe production and transport of fresh produce,” she said.
In addition to her work as an attorney, she also owns and operates her own snack foods company. She began earning food industry certifications to help build her business, and now uses these skills to aid food industry clients.
In October, Lawson also earned the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training program for FDA-regulated food and beverage facilities. PCQI certification means a graduate is qualified to administer a food safety program under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.
She also has earned the Food Defense Awareness Certification from the Food Safety Preventative Controls Alliance as well as the Better Process Control School Certification. She recently completed the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training as well.