FSMA: Are You Compliant?
Millions of North Americans get sick every year due to food related illness. The standards previously in place were outdated and ineffective –only recently have they been drastically upgraded due to the alarming increase in major food contamination events.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), ratified in the beginning of 2011, is a law designed to modernize our existing food safety standardsby trying to prevent contaminations from happening in the first place. The economic and social loss from food contamination events have devastating effects on communities, and the financial losses often ruin good companies.
So what’s this new law all about?
The new law gives the FDA ultimate oversight on everything food-related as they are now mandated to take preventative action to protect the food supply from contamination. This means much more stringent inspection and compliance regulations; with the possibility of more audits and fees to follow.
It could mean a safer food supply for everybody:
- Importers have to verify that the food they bring into the domestic food supply is safe, through third-party verification.
- Anything deemed to be a “High Risk Food” will now be subject to third-party certification.
- Food Defense protocols to protect the food supply from intentional contamination such as counterfeiting or sabotage.
- FDA can reject any food shipment attempting to enter its borders for refusal of inspection.
- FDA has recall authority over federal, state, municipal, and tribal regions.
Proponents of the law will highlight the obvious benefits for the consumer population. International firms and domestic businesses will be concerned about increases in inspections, audits, and the compliance management protocols that come with them.Canada has already embraced many of the protocols outlined in this new law as it has many similar provisions in its own Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA).
The bottom line is change isn’t coming: it’s here. Unfortunately many firms both domestic and international have been slow to adopt these new protocols and get compliant efficiently. We work with companies facing these challenges and others every day.
We know you’ve got a lot on your plate. If obtaining Halal Certification is one of those things: give us a call, you won’t regret it.
FDA - http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/