Are you Ready for FSMA?

According to the FDA, every year, 1 out of 6 people in the United States (48 million people) suffers from foodborne illness and more than a hundred thousand are hospitalized, making it a serious public safety issue that is largely preventable. In response, the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2011. Considered one of the largest food safety law reforms in the last 70 years, its intention is to “ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”

Key Elements

In order to take a risk-based approach to food safety, FSMA places more rigorous requirements on food manufacturers, processors, growers, and importers. The key elements of FSMA can be divided into five major categories

  • Preventive Controls Mandate
  • Inspection & Compliance to hold Industries accountable
  • Imported Food Safety Tools
  • Response & Mandatory Recall Authority
  • Enhanced Partnership between Food Safety Agencies

How to Prepare

How can you prepare for FSMA? While preparation will vary, the publication, Food Quality & Safety, recommends 7 basic steps to get started:

  1. Develop your Food Safety Plan.
  2. Identify, train, and qualify the experienced individual who is responsible for developing the facility’s Food Safety Plan.
  3. Identify and evaluate the hazards that could affect food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by your facility.
  4. Identify and implement preventive controls to significantly minimize or prevent the occurrence of such hazards and provide assurances that the food you make is not adulterated.
  5. Monitor the performance of those established controls.
  6. Maintain records of monitoring as a matter of routine practice.
  7. If you are importing foods, you are responsible for compliance to FSMA by your foreign suppliers.

Want to Learn More?

The above steps are intended to be a basic outline. We encourage you to read more about FSMA to find out what applies specifically to you. For the most up-to-date and complete information about FSMA and its rules and regulations, contact the FDA or submit an inquiry