If you are a food Grower, Packer, Shipper, Processor, Distributor, or are in the Grocery Retail or Foodservice industry, you are required to comply with the provisions of the FSMA rule.
The implementation of FSMA is to allow for faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer foodborne illnesses and deaths. Note: traceability by itself does not prevent contamination or food adulteration during transit.
At its core, the rule requires companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL) to maintain records containing Key Data Elements (KDEs) associated with specific Critical Tracking Events (CTEs). They must provide that information to FDA within 24 hours or within a reasonable time to which the FDA has agreed.
Bottom line, this is a rule – not a suggestion. There are several actions the government can take if your voluntary compliance is not forthcoming. These can include civil or criminal actions in Federal court. An imported product can be refused admission to the U.S. marketplace if the recordkeeping requirements have not been met.
To make sure you are compliant, your company needs to make sure it is familiar with FSMA.
For additional information, please refer to this previous blog.