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Understanding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

February 27, 2020

In today’s post, we look at just what laws and regulations are keeping the foods on our tables clean and safe. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law on January 4, 2011, represents the most comprehensive and sweeping top-to-bottom reform of the United States food safety regulatory framework in over 70 years. The FSMA shifts the focus of the FDA from responding to food contamination events to prevention-based controls for manufacturing. It affects almost every business that must register with the FDA.

FSMA

The FDA finalized seven major rules to implement the FSMA. The rules translate the act into specific actions at each point in the global supply chain to reduce contamination and make it easier to implement the changes. Those seven rules are:

 

 

  1. Preventive Controls for Human Food– Human food facilities registered with the FDA must implement a written plan that identifies hazards and outlines appropriate preventive controls.
  2. Preventive Controls for Animal Food– Animal food facilities registered with the FDA must implement a written plan that identifies hazards and outlines appropriate preventive controls.
  3. Produce Safety– Establishes minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and storing produce.
  4. Foreign Supplier Verification Program– Importers must verify that their global suppliers comply with FDA regulations.
  5. Third-Party Certification– Accredits third-party certification bodies to administer voluntary consultative and regulatory audits to help companies prepare for regulatory audits or achieve certifications.
  6. Food Defense (intentional adulteration)– Food facilities registered with the FDA must develop a plan that assesses contamination vulnerabilities and document a mitigation strategy for each vulnerability.
  7. Sanitary Transportation– New requirements for companies that transport food, including shippers, receivers, loaders, and carrier.

The FDA regulates about 77 percent of the U.S. food supply. This includes everything we eat except for meat, poultry, and some egg products which are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). So, it is most likely that many of our food customers must comply with the FSMA. Compliance with the FSMA looks different for each business depending on the size and purpose of the facility, as well as what products it makes. Should you have any questions or want to learn more the FSMA, below are some links that provide more details on the laws and regulations for your reference:

Food Safety Modernization Act 

FSMA Rules & Guidance for Industry 

If you have any questions about how the FSMA impacts your process application, please contact a Holland Sales Engineer today.

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