The new food safety regulations by the Food and Drug Administration are complex, detailed and in places, confusing. But a claim of ignorance of the new law is no excuse; in fact, companies have nearly a full year (until September 2016) to become compliant with the regulations. For almost all businesses, getting there is going to be a challenge. So let’s get started . . .
FSMA and Your Operations
FSMA requires food manufacturers and processors to establish and maintain comprehensive food safety plans covering every aspect of their production processes, including the use of lubricants. Training of production line employees in all aspects of food safety is also mandated under FSMA.
New Emphasis on Preventing Food Safety Problems
The new regulations emphasize a pro-active, preventative approach by the food industry to reduce contamination and food-borne illness. An underlying rationale is to prevent expensive food recalls that raise consumer alarm about overall food safety and damage the reputation of companies whose items have to be withdrawn.
Food Industry Assigned Big New Responsibilities
FSMA shifts primary responsibility for food safety away to food companies and employees, who will be required to maintain strict records of steps taken to insure compliance 24/7/365. Importantly, the new regulations encompass large segments of food manufacturing and processing including requirements for stringent management control and distribution of lubricants used on shop floors, production lines and machinery — in other words, wherever food items are made or processed.