Are You Ready for FSMA?
Understanding FSMA and new liabilities
Each year, 3,000 Americans die from foodborne illness (Source: CDC).
The Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, has four main objectives:
- Improve capacity to prevent food-safety problems
- Improve capacity to detect and respond to food-safety problems
- Improve the safety of imported food
- Miscellaneous provisions, such as whistle-blower protection
If your company is required by the FDA to register under its current food facility registration regulations, FSMA applies to you.
By June 30, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must finalize a series of seven regulations that create significant new criminal liabilities affecting companies in the food industry (Source: Retail Leader).
How big is this? Once regulations are final, business operations can cease pending investigation and a company CEO can be held personally liable for violating any of the new regulations, even if that CEO had no knowledge of the violation. If your company doesn’t have strong controls in place to manage its production as well as other aspects of the supply chain, you’re taking on significant risk.
Recognizing the FDA’s reach
More than ever before, FSMA intends to hold the food industry accountable for securing the supply chain. Here’s a short list of what’s within the FDA’s power:
- Require a recall rather than recommend a recall.
- Require verification of imported ingredients used in U.S.-produced feed; the burden to track is on the manufacturer.
- Compel disclosure of records without a warrant.
- Detain ingredients or inventory, causing delays in production and even immediate shutdown.
- Suspend license of noncompliant operators.
- Conduct unscheduled audits, typically records-based. This could force a reconciliation of ingredients, requiring documentation of existing best practices and their application.
Protecting your business
Agribusinesses can’t afford any gaps in their safety testing practices. To compete in this climate while protecting the supply chain and your place in it, you need strategic solutions. You want to optimize your people, processes and technological assets for agile and effective mycotoxin testing and traceability. Contact EnviroLogix to discuss how their industry-leading QuickScan system, GIPSA-certified QuickTox kits and team of experts can support the necessary training, testing and documentation for meeting the new FSMA regulations.
Portions of this post were reposted with permission from Repete.
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