What To Do Next

The official documents in the Federal Register codifying the new Food Safety Modernization Act run to nearly 1,000 printed pages, with more to come. As a result, it’s never too early for food manufacturers to begin preparing for the changes when final implementation begins in August 2016.

Overall, FSMA is making food companies responsible for documenting how they intend to take proactive steps to avoid product contamination. Manufacturers must conduct hazard analyses of known or “reasonably foreseeable” vulnerabilities in the production process where microbiological, chemical or physical contamination might arise. Once these are identified, the companies are then required to prepare written procedures describing how the hazards will be removed (and prevented from recurring), and also create and conduct employee training programs to prevent contamination from happening. These procedures must be maintained and updated on a regular basis, and immediately accessible to FDA inspection.

The following is a short list of current requirements under FSMA:

  • Written procedures
  • Third party certification
  • Storage and handling
  • Hazard analysis
  • Preventative controls for identified hazards
  • Record keeping requirements
  • Employee training
  • Verification and monitoring

Clearly, there’s going to be a lot of initial work to be done to comply with the new regulations. However, there are many resources available for companies to insure FSMA won’t end up being a management nightmare. One such resource already on the market is offered by CRC Industries, an industry leader in the manufacture of MRO chemicals. Its StopLight™ Food Safety Program is a one stop compliance solution for front-line use and storage of MRO chemicals designated as “food grade” under current NSF standards. StopLight™ includes workplace posters, training modules and related services designed to help food manufacturers get ahead of the curve on FSMA implementation the importance of safe handling of MRO chemicals.

More information is available at www.stoplightfoodsafety.com