Food Defense

What Is the Food Safety Modernization Act?

March 20, 2024 | 3 Min Read

In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized seven major rules to implement the FSMA. The FDA recognizes that ensuring the safety of the food supply is a shared responsibility among many different points in the global supply chain for both human and animal food. The FSMA rules are designed to make clear specific actions that must be taken at each of these points to prevent contamination. The rules translate the FSMA into specific actions at each point in the global supply chain to reduce contamination and make it easier to implement the changes. Those seven rules are:

Preventive Controls for Human Food – Human food facilities registered with the FDA must implement a written plan that identifies hazards and outlines appropriate preventive controls

Food Defense (intentional adulteration) – Food facilities registered with the FDA must develop a plan that assesses contamination vulnerabilities and document a mitigation strategy for each vulnerability

Preventive Controls for Animal Food – Animal food facilities registered with the FDA must implement a written plan that identifies hazards and outlines appropriate preventive controls

Produce Safety – Establishes minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and storing produce

Foreign Supplier Verification Program – Importers must verify that their global suppliers comply with FDA regulations

Third-Party Certification – Accredits third-party certification bodies to administer voluntary consultative and regulatory audits to help companies prepare for regulatory audits or achieve certifications

Sanitary Transportation – New requirements for companies that transport food, including shippers, receivers, loaders, and carriers

The FSMA enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. It enables FDA to focus more on preventing food safety problems rather than relying primarily on reacting to problems after they occur. The law also provides FDA with new enforcement authorities designed to achieve higher rates of compliance with prevention- and risk-based food safety standards and to better respond to and contain problems when they do occur. The law also gives FDA important new tools to hold imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods and directs FDA to build an integrated national food safety system in partnership with state and local authorities.

Ensuring that your traceability actions are proactive, not reactive, is critical to securing the movement of food materials in the supply chain. To effectively implement both of these requirements, you must have a dynamic system in place to ensure that the bulk ingredients unloaded at your facility were not adulterated in transit. The FDA is clear in FD.4 that it is the food production facility, not the carrier, that must take mitigation steps necessary to protect the cargo during transit.

Surelock Seals provides that system. We are your Out of The Box solution for food traceability and security, offering both handheld and stationary RFID reader options to fit your budget. Our RFID seals are attached to the trailer hatches after the bulk ingredient is loaded, and if tampered with in transit, they will be permanently destroyed, informing you of possible adulteration.

If you have questions regarding food traceability or the FSMA, check out this previous article on those topics.

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