The History of FSMA
The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is being called the most sweeping reform of U.S. food safety laws in more than 70 years. It was originally signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, and in the years since, FDA has been working to develop the final rules that the act requires them to implement. The focus of the act is more effective prevention of food safety issues in the U.S. food supply.
FSMA is a comprehensive top-to-bottom overhaul of the United States food safety regulatory framework. FSMA will touch every segment of the produce business supply chain from farm-to-fork. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed seven major regulations. The proposed regulations will affect how produce is grown, packed, processed, shipped and imported into the U.S. The Food Safety Modernization Act is changing the culture of the food safety system in the United States.
FSMA shifts the focus of the FDA to ensuring food safety through prevention of microbial contamination rather than just reacting to the problem after it has already occurred. With new changes in food safety regulations also come new compliance challenges for the food industry. Growers, producers, harvesters and processors need to fully comprehend the rules in order to overcome the challenges associated with FSMA. The Food Safety Modernization Act will require a multitude of standards to be met and procedures to be followed in order to comply with the law, below are a few noteworthy comments to help you in your journey to FSMA compliance.
One of the first challenges that companies will face when diving into FSMA is understanding the law and the rules which will implement it. These include preventive controls specific requirements for imported foods, food safety inspections, the sanitary transportation of foods and compliance timelines. Establishing where each rule fits, and which rules apply to food facilities can be overwhelming at first. Doing a gap analysis is a good idea for this first challenge, as it will let a company know their current standing and what future steps to take. Safe Food Alliance is working to make this transition easier for the food industry by pursuing FDA-approved training on the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls Rules. This will allow Safe Food Alliance to offer public and onsite training, as well as consultation services, for companies needing guidance-look for these classes in the coming year!