Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

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Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

With the dollar expected to hit parity with the Euro in the Spring time the US market has never been more appealing for those FBOs currently supplying but also to those planning to do so.  One of President Obama’s legacy achievements will be the Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA.  FSMA is a direct response to several well documented contamination and recall incidents that have affected the US food industry over the past number of years.  The USDA estimate that there are 93 million illnesses a year attributed to food including 53,000 hospitalisations and 2,377 deaths.

The legislation was signed into law by President Obama in 2011 and is the most significant reform to US Food Safety Law in 70 years amending the Federal Food, Drugs & Cosmetic Act of 1938.  The primary aim of the act is to shift focus within food manufacturing towards a proactive preventative strategy (PCP, Preventative Control Procedures) as opposed to a reactive approach to food incidents.

There are seven main rules in FSMA:

  • Preventative Control – Human Food
  • Preventative Control – Animal Food
  • Produce Safety
  • Intentional Adulteration
  • Foreign Supply Verification Programme (FSVP)
  • Third Party Accreditation
  • Sanitary Transport

All of these rules and new regulations can seem daunting and intimidating.  The upside is that Irish Food Companies who are BRC / IFS / FSSC approved are in a very good position to comply.  The move in Europe for the past ten years has been to move away from the concept of multiple CCPs in the process in favour of greater focus on the 15 PRPs as defined in ISO 22002.  This is really what the Americans are also now advocating however the acronyms are different: HARPC, PCP, FSPCA, PCQI, cGMP, CFRs is the language of FSMA and if the US is a market you supply or are interested in, it is time to do your homework.

We are currently developing a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) course which will be available in 2017 – watch this space!

Check out our full range of Food Safety Training Courses – we still have some final 2016 dates left!

This blog was submitted by our expert Food Safety Tutor – Denis Kiely

Denis Kiely Food Safety Expert Tutor

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