Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
What is the Food Safety Modernization Act? FSMA was signed into law in January 2011. It is the most sweeping change to food safety in over 70 years. It fundamentally changes the way food is regulated in the U.S. and abroad and affects the entire supply chain from farm-to-fork. It aims to enhance the culture of food safety and requires a culture change for most food retailers, while providing consumers with important safeguards to enhance confidence in our food system.
FSMA’s focus is on prevention and will have a direct impact on manufacturing facilities, central kitchens, distribution centers, food imports and even transportation. The law also provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with new enforcement authorities and new tools to hold imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods. All FSMA compliance documentation must be accessible within 24 hours and must be retained for at least 2 years.
Who is Responsible for FSMA Compliance?
All food supply chain participants must comply, where applicable. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) impacts many aspects of a company and requires additional resources for training, record-keeping, product information/traceability systems, auditors, and food safety and legal staff. FSMA also takes corporate liability to a new level by holding food executives accountable, which is similar to Sarbanes-Oxley.