Food Safety and Modernization Act

Spotlight on FSMA: U.S. gets serious about food safety

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. To combat this significant health threat, Congress passed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which addresses food safety across the supply chain from farm to table. This landmark legislation focuses on a science-based approach to preventing food safety problems and gives the FDA mandatory recall authority to better respond to and contain problems when they do occur. The FDA has provided these 7 foundational rules for implementing the FSMA:

  • Preventive Controls for Human Food—requires that food facilities have written safety plans that set forth how they will identify and minimize hazards.
  • Preventive Controls for Animal Food—establishes Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) and preventive controls for food for animals.
  • Produce Safety—establishes science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding produce on domestic and foreign farms.
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program—requires importers to verify that food imported into the United States has been produced in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as that required of U.S. food producers.
  • Third Party Certification—establishes a program for the accreditation of third-party auditors to conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign facilities producing food for humans or animals.
  • Sanitary Transportation—requires those who transport food to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of food.
  • Intentional Adulteration—requires domestic and foreign facilities to address vulnerable processes in their operations to prevent acts intended to cause large-scale public harm.
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