Knowledge Briefs

FSMA – The Basics

If you are in the food business, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Food Safety Modernization Act, also known by its acronym, FSMA (usually pronounced FIZZ-ma). The legislation actually passed Congress in 2011, but it has taken four-plus years for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to write the thousands of regulations that are required to implement the law. With full implementation scheduled for September, here’s a summary to get you going.

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pdf-iconCRC Knowledge Brief – FSMA Basics

FSMA Hazard Analysis

The most comprehensive feature in the new food safety regulations under FSMA is the requirement for a detailed hazard analysis of every step in the manufacturing process of human and animal food. That sounds simple, but it’s not. In fact, conducting a hazard analysis is probably Priority Number 1 for food manufacturers and processors.

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pdf-iconCRC Knowledge Brief – Hazard Analysis Brief

Hazard Analysis Definitions

Due to the complexities of the requirement of a Hazard Analysis, it may be helpful to start with an understanding of the key terms used by the FDA in writing the new regulations. Here is a sample of some of the most important definitions.

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pdf-iconCRC Knowledge Brief – Key Definitions

Food Safety Plan

If you had to choose just one word to describe FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), that word would be prevention. The philosophy underlying the new regulations is that the best way to stop food contaminations and costly recalls is by taking steps to insure they don’t happen in the first place. Thus, the requirement that companies all along the food chain develop and manage a comprehensive — and documented — food safety plan to, hopefully, spot problems early and avoid the negative publicity and economic blow of food recalls.

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pdf-iconCRC Knowledge Brief — Food Safety Plan

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