A Complete Guide to FSMA

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2010 was signed by President Barack Obama on January Fourth, 2011. It gives a new leash of authority to FDA to monitor and control food supply to U.S in an innovative manner. The way the food is grown, harvested, transported and utilized all come under this new act, taking the food safety in U.S to a new height.

Congress enforced FSMA-Equinox Labs

History:

This law was thought of and passed with a view to curb the growing food-borne illnesses growing vastly in the States. Tarnished food cost the government huge monetary loss and the country widely faced heightened illnesses. It was reported by CDC-Centre for Disease Control and Prevention that 1 in 6 Americans get sick amounting to 48 million people got sick, while 3000 people died each year from food borne illnesses. More than 40 pathogens were identified causing huge pandemonium which targeted the population through the medium of food and many continue to remain unidentified. The change in the food supply and complexity of the food system conned the establishment of the Act by the Congress. While more than 15% of all food supply in States is imported, it posed a huge question in front of the authorities- what can be done to prevent the growing number?

Current scenario:

FSMA paved way to alter the food safety and monitoring program by FDA. The provision FSMA gives FDA involves the following:

Impact and fees

Prevention– includes mandatory preventive controls for food safety, production of safety standards, radiological hazards and the power to prevent intentional contamination.

Inspection and compliance– including inspection frequency, access to documents and testing by authorized laboratories.

-It also deals with occasions of violations and enhanced partnerships with special focus on food imported into the country. Importer credibility, right to reject the consignment and certifications are some of the included facilities allotted to FDA for ensuring the food is safe and worth consumption.

This rule brought a wide range of changes to its 10th largest food supplier as in 2013 food safety norms and rules-India. Registrar Corp is an FDA Compliance firm set up in more than 18 countries worldwide. Its two firms in India ensure that the food exported to the U.S meet the required standards as per FDA parameters. On September 11, 2012 Registrar Corp spread the word about the changing regulatory rules and its impact on Food companies in India. FSMA imposed a new requirement that all the exporters of food, beverages and dietary supplements from India would have to renew their FDA Food Facility Registration between on or before December 31, 2012 failing which shipments would be rejected and entry would not be granted.

What FSMA holds in the future?

The operational strategy of FDA and implementation of FSMA includes advancing public health, leveraging and collaborating with different consortiums and institutions, strategic and risk based assessments, enhancements of technical and scientific skills, use of appropriate resources and efficiently managing the produced data. With each year, new plans are implemented for the betterment of food quality and public health.

FSMA Public Meeting: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Prevention-Oriented Import System Regulations and Implementation on March 21, 2016 ‘will provide importers and other interested persons an opportunity to discuss import safety regulations and programs, including final rules for foreign supplier verification programs for importers of food for humans and animals and accreditation of third-party certification bodies. Participants will also be briefed on the status of FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program, which is still in development. Additionally, the public meeting will provide importers and other interested persons an opportunity to discuss FDA’s comprehensive planning effort for the next phase of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act implementation relating to import safety programs, which includes establishing the operational framework for these programs and plans for guidance documents, training, education, and technical assistance. The meeting is also designed to answer questions about these import programs and provide an opportunity for interested persons to make public comments.’

In his FY 2017 Budget Request, the President has proposed additional resources that include an increase of $25.3 million of new budget authority to implement FSMA.

US FDA-FSMA-Equinox Labs

Conclusion:

This law will have a drastic effect, not just on a global platform but also on Indian food businesses exporting out to the States. U.S FDA officials have asked for U.S personnel to come down to the country for assessments of food exported as per the Registrar Corp. With vigilant rules in effect, it would be worth the wait to observe the change in food system all around the globe.

For more information, visit U.S FDA-FSMA

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