Preparing for the Food Safety Modernization Act manufacturing legislation
October 05, 2012
Although a key piece of manufacturing legislation
—the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which has been called "the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years"—was signed into law at the beginning of January 2011, many of its components will not be fully integrated until after the November elections. Food manufacturers are taking advantage of this fact by using the extra time to make sure they are as prepared as possible to meet new manufacturing compliance
The chief purpose of the FSMA is to ensure that the U.S. food supply is safe by refocusing manufacturers' efforts from responding to contamination after it occurs to preventing it from happening in the first place. The law puts into place a clear regulatory framework that requires comprehensive controls centered on prevention and quality control across the food supply chain in order to facilitate improvements to food safety.Preparing for the FSMA
In a recent piece
for leading industry news provider Manufacturing.net, Katie Beissel, global industry manager of food and beverage for GE Intelligent Platforms, laid out a three-pronged blueprint for manufacturers eager to ready themselves for the FSMA rollout. Specifically, Beissel recommended gaining clarity about the regulations, taking steps to achieve compliance by developing food safety plans and looking beyond the current laws toward more holistic food quality planning.
In her summary of the FSMA, Beissel breaks down the legislation into three main ideas:
- The orchestration of accurate and appropriately-sized product recalls in a timely manner following the discovery of problems. This should occur in a way that facilitates understanding of what happened, how many products were affected, where they were produced and how to handle the situation going forward.
- The implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point processes (HACCP) as part of food safety program improvements, with the goal of heading off bad-quality products before they reach the public. Part of this step involves empowering the FDA to conduct inspections and reviews at any time.
- The retention of key quality data for two years (in comparison to the previous 90-day requirement) in order to facilitate more in-depth FDA reviewing.