The struggles of Chipotle, the US restaurant chain, to regain customers lost after hundreds fell ill from contaminated food, reinforce the preventative goals of the US Food Safety Modernization ACT (FSMA). Since our last FSMA Update, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has continued to kick FSMA implementation into high gear:
Final Rule for Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration was issued in May, 2016. Large domestic and foreign companies currently required to register with the FDA as food facilities will need to prepare and implement a food defense plan. The plan must include an assessment of the facility’s vulnerabilities, strategies to mitigate those vulnerabilities including management procedures, and training and recordkeeping. Depending on their size, businesses will have up to five (5) years to implement this rule. Very small businesses will be exempt along with certain other facilities.
Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food was issued in April, 2016. The rule establishes requirements for shippers, loaders, carriers by motor or rail vehicle, and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food into the United States to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of the food. The requirements do not apply to transportation by ship or air. Depending on their size, businesses will have up to two (2) years to comply.
Final Rule on Produce Safety to be implemented by farms has also been issued.
Importers are already required to comply with the following rules enacted since the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011:
- Food facility registration
- Record-keeping requirements
- Prior Notice of Imported Foods
- Foreign Supplier Verification Program
Contact us to learn how we can help you comply with the FSMA’s existing and incoming requirements.