FDA Reports On FSMA Progress

Articles
January 12, 2012

FDA Reports On FSMA Progress

The Food & Drug Administration recently provided a summary of the agency’s accomplishments to date since the signing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on Jan. 4, 201,1 reports The Food Institute, as the industry is awaiting publication of several more rules implementing the act. FSMA marks the most significant change in food safety laws in over 60 years.

The Food & Drug Administration recently provided a summary of the agency’s accomplishments to date since the signing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on Jan. 4, 201,1 reports The Food Institute, as the industry is awaiting publication of several more rules implementing the act. FSMA marks the most significant change in food safety laws in over 60 years.

FDA highlighted its efforts including the issuance of interim final rules on criteria for administrative detention, utilizing this authority three times and establishing the Produce Safety Alliance and the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance. FDA also met the FSMA mandate for foreign food safety inspections and claimed that it is on track to meet the five-year inspection frequency mandate for high-risk domestic food facilities after conducting more than 20,000 food facility inspections with state partners in 2011.

During the first year of FSMA, FDA has completed a number initial implementation steps, including:
•    FDA launched a more consumer-friendly recall search engine on the FDA website.
•    The agency issued its updated guide to the seafood industry on hazards associated with fish and fishery products and appropriate controls for those hazards.
•    FDA issued an interim final rule that requires a person submitting prior notice of imported food, including food for animals, to report the name of any country to which the article has been refused entry.
•    FDA and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint anti-smuggling strategy to help to identify and prevent smuggled foods from entering the U.S. and posing a threat to national security and consumer safety.
•     FDA announced the fiscal year 2012 fee schedule for certain domestic and foreign facility reinspections and for failure to comply with recall orders.
•    FDA has the authority to suspend the registration of food facilities to prevent the import and export into the U.S. in certain circumstances involving food that has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

FDA submitted to Congress the first annual “Report on Food Facilities, Food Imports, and FDA Foreign Offices” and the “Biennial Report to Congress on the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN).”

THE FOOD INSTITUTE and Washington, DC-based law firm OFW LAW are currently producing a 12-part webinar series on implementation of FSMA, including analysis of FDA’s actions over the last year as well as future regulatory initiatives. The next installment of the webinar series will be offered on January 26 to discuss the final rules regarding mandatory produce safety standards, among others. Registration is available at http://www.foodinstitute.com/ FSMAwebinar.cfm, or by contacting Sue Antista at sue.antista@foodinstitute.com or 201-791-5570, ext. 212.