What is FSMA?
HR2751 is known as Food Safety Modernization Act
The law gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to order recalls of contaminated food, amongst other powers not here disclosed, a power it did not have prior to the possible enactment of the Food Safety Act. As a major overhaul of food safety laws and regulations, the acts stated purpose is to provide a safer food supply and a more stable food industry, but, it will also vastly broaden the power of the FDA to regulate any aspect of food production.
Congress agreed that the need for food safety enhancements was pressing due to the large burden of foodborne illness in the United States. Approximately 48 million people, or 1 out of 6 people in the United States, will suffer from foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year according to CDC estimates.
Since the Food Safety Modernization Act went into effect, July 03, 2011, almost 90% of the law has been implemented for food safety.
Any food, feed, ingredients, and beverages that are unsafe or unsanitary, adulterated or misbranded can be detained from going to the market, traceback labeling is being enforced as there are no exemptions.
The FSMA includes six main areas of food safety enhancements:
Preventive controls: The FSMA will shift the FDA’s approach to food safety from responding to outbreaks to preventing them. This will be accomplished by holding food production facilities accountable for implementing safe and effective measures to prevent contamination.
Recordkeeping: All food, feed, ingredients, and beverages shall have full records for two years available for any authorized FDA inspector.
Inspection and Compliance: The FDA will use existing resources to modify inspection strategies appropriate for the food industry.
Imported Food Safety: The legislation gives FDA greater oversight of imported food products into the United Sates from other countries. The FSMA requires that U.S. importers verify supplier activities to ensure a safe food supply, and allows the FDA to mandate certification and compliance with food safety requirements. Additionally, the FDA can decline admission of imported foods if the foreign producers refuse FDA inspection.
Response: The FSMA gives the FDA authority to issue mandatory recalls for all food products.
Enhanced Partnerships: The legislation acknowledges the value of strong collaboration among food safety agencies. It includes provisions to build inter-agency collaboration and capacity of food safety programs, and improve training of food safety officials.
The importance of food safety has been brought into sharp focus as North America has been hit by a spate of foodborne illnesses. Now the regulatory framework governing US food safety has started, and its a major overhaul.