If you are a food Grower, Packer, Shipper, Processor, Distributor, or are in the Grocery Retail or Foodservice industry, January 20, 2026 is going to be a pivotal date in your corporate history. Section 204 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) goes into effect on that date, and it will have an impact on your company’s administrative processes as well as your financial bottom line.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Section 204 requires the FDA to designate foods for which additional recordkeeping requirements are appropriate and necessary to protect public health. If you manufacture, process, pack, or hold any food item on the list, you are required to maintain specific types of records.
This recordkeeping is designed to ensure that food products can be traced back to their origin regardless of where they are in the link between the producer and the consumer.
Here is a list of key questions that can be answered by visiting the FDA website.
Am I subject to the new FSMA rule?
What is a Traceability Plan, and am I required to have one?
What are the data records required from each Critical Tracking Event that applies to my business?
Why is it important to securely store and maintain those records, and keep them accessible to the FDA within 24-hours of a request?