Has your company been working towards compliance with the FSMA rules and regulations? In 2011 the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law and has been the most significant reform to food safety laws in years. An article written by Dr. Jennifer McEntire for Food Manufacturing Magazine explores some of the re-purposed rules that may come to pass in 2015 and how to comply with them.
Dr. McEntire provides a lengthy list for companies who are working on preparing their facilities and processes for the FSMA rules and audits. While the entire list with details on the changes can be found on the website she mentions changes in the following categories:
- Preventative Controls for Human Food: This is the largest list of changes sited in the article with changes on the way the FDA regulates farm activities to environmental monitoring and product testing.
- Preventative Controls for Animal Food: A lot of the same changes that apply to human food controls also apply to animal food. Specifically however a change has been made to rules about good manufacturing practices and food-by-product rules.
- Produce Safety Rule: Changes are being made to categories such as water quality standards, water testing and rules with raw manure.
- Foreign Supplier Verification Rule: Categories seeing changes are as follows: verification activities, unapproved suppliers, audit records and foreign supplier verification vs. preventative control.
Examining the full list of changes in the article is a wise choice for any food processing plant. The article also gives suggestions on preparing for these changes in the FSMA Compliance. One of the things that this article brings up that all companies should consider is how technology can help prepare for and maintain FSMA compliance. We use technology in every aspect of our lives; a company would be very proactive by stepping back, and looking at the big picture, start using technology to encompass everything they are doing to remain within FSMA guidelines. Creating a common program that all areas of a facility can use can be an extremely useful tool not only for FSMA purposes but for facility effectiveness in general. Dr. McEntire mentions eight specific ways that companies can plan ahead and use technology to keep their facility in line.
- Hazard Analysis
- Regulatory Information
- Preventative Controls
- Supplier and product information
- Non-conformances and corrective actions
- Supplier and facility audits
- Customer complaints and product recalls
Keeping your facility as safe as possible as well as remaining within the FSMA guidelines is a big job and this article can be used as a great resource to check yourself against some rule changes. Food safety and employee safety go hand in hand.
McEntire, Jennifer. “Exploring the Re-Purposed FSMA Rules and Ways to Comply.” www.foodmanufacturing.com February 24, 2015. March 5,2015