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Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): What Manufacturers Should Know

Republished from NJMEP Blog,on July 17, 2015

If you’re a food manufacturer, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) directly impacts your business. In 2011 prior to FSMA’s enactment, the Center for Disease Control reported 48 million people became sick as a result of a food related illness. While the U.S. has one of the safest food supplies on the planet, it still continues to battle against foodborne illness. In any given year, countless numbers of people become sick and even die as a result.

FSMA became law as a result of an ongoing effort to keep the food supply safe. This also means that there are new rules and regulations for food manufacturers. FSMA gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) greater power in handling food supply contamination by enacting five major changes from the current law:

  1. Shift the focus from reaction to prevention
  2. Authorizes inspection for compliance based on risk
  3. Provides mandatory recall authority
  4. Strengthens import safety rules to assure standards are met
  5. Allow partnerships with other governments and entities

Compliance is mandated for all food manufacturers, processors, packers and distributors. USDA regulated meat, poultry, and processed egg producers are exempt. Requirements are as follows:

  • Registration with the FDA twice each year
  • Creates a Food Safety Plan with science-based preventive controls based on a hazard analysis
  • Creates a Food Defense Plan with science-based reduction strategies based on a identified weak points
  • Quick reporting of foods that may cause adverse health effects to the Reportable Food Registry
  • Requires dairy farms with a few exclusions to comply with some portions of the Intentional Adulteration Rule.

Each year, tainted food is responsible for billions of dollars spent in food recalls, lost sales ad legal expenses. Avoid being the next news headline: a variety of compliance dates based on the size and company type was established. A list of all compliance dates can be found here.

Food manufacturing plays a vital role in employment in the Garden State and their companies are major engines of economic growth. If you’re a food manufacturer who is looking to become more Lean, efficient and productive, contact us today!