Upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act Regulation Announcements
Early next year, the Food and Drug Administration will likely begin announcing new regulations affecting domestic and imported food supply chains associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was passed into law in late 2010. The focus of the new regulations will largely be on manufacturers and other businesses that handle and process foods before they reach restaurants and other points of distribution.
The Food Safety and Modernization Act carries both positive and negative consequences for the restaurant and food/beverage management industries. On the positive side, there will be more safe guards in the industry to prevent spoiled or otherwise damaged or dangerous foods from being served to restaurant goers. On the negative side, increased regulation could cause increased costs and delays for certain types of products that are found to be faulty, or have a predisposition for food safety issues.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the new regulations are likely to focus on the following issues:
- Remote access to food safety plans. The FDA is expressing interest in requiring food facilities to electronically submit their food safety plans to the agency, even though the law does not contain a provision granting the agency remote access to records.
- Traceability. The FDA plans to seek input from stakeholders in considering whether to develop voluntary guidance for foods beyond those designated as high risk to enhance product tracing in the supply chain.
- Third-party audits. The FDA is considering using third-party audits as a verification activity under the foreign supplier verification program.
- Consultative audits. The FDA has stated that auditors who perform consultative audits, which are audits for internal purposes only, must immediately notify the FDA if they discover a condition that could cause or contribute to a serious risk to the public health.
- User fees. The FDA may ask to impose additional user fees on food companies to help fund implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. MORE
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