Written by SmartSense
June 27, 2017
Written by SmartSense
When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in 2011, it shifted U.S. food safety policy from a reactive afterthought to a proactive mission. That is, rather than responding to contamination after the fact, the law mandates preventing problems during manufacturing and transport before they occur. FSMA also provides the FDA with new enforcement authorities to achieve higher rates of compliance and tools to hold imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods. The goal of FSMA is to integrate local and state guidelines into a national food safety system that better protects public health and keeps consumers safe.
FSMA is an important new law for food safety and at first may not sound like it affects your restaurant. But, it has serious implications for restaurants regarding operations, quality, and overall safety.
Main Themes of FSMA
FSMA can best be understood as granting the FDA authoritative jurisdiction in the following areas:
For the first time in its history, the FDA can require comprehensive preventative controls across the food supply chain, from farm to fork. These regulations include:
Inspection and Compliance
FSMA recognizes that without compliance, improved safety standards are only an empty promise. To ensure compliance, FSMA requires the following updates:
To respond effectively when problems emerge despite preventative controls, the FDA now has tools to assert its regulatory authority, which focuses on manufacturers, including:
FSMA gives the FDA unprecedented authority to better ensure that imported products meet U.S. standards and are safe for U.S. consumers. These rules are important to be aware of if you do your own importing. You should also ensure that your supplier is following these laws. New regulations via the FDA include:
FSMA recognizes that domestic and foreign food safety agencies need to work together to achieve public health goals. The law demands a formal system of collaboration, including:
Stay tuned for our posts on the Sanitary Transport Rule and Foreign Supplier Verification Program and how they impact your restaurant. For more in-depth details about FSMA, please visit the FDA website.
Want to Learn More About FSMA?
Check out our post about FSMA and its impact on quick service restaurants. Subscribe to our blog to receive our food safety articles straight to your inbox.
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