The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011 but the process of creating and implementing the final rules has been lengthy. Out of the seven rules, two are yet to be unveiled. With the FDA receiving an increase in FSMA funding in FY 2016, and a further increase expected in FY 2017, it doesn’t look like the FSMA is going away. If your business hasn’t become familiar with the FSMA, now is a good time to start.
The FDA has assured food supply chain companies that the rules will be reasonable and flexible. They’ve set flexible compliance dates, as well, with dates varying by type and size of business. For example, large farms have two years from the effective date of Jan. 26, 2016 to comply with the FSMA. Small farms have three years, and very small farms have four years. All farms will get an extra two years to comply with the water rules. The FDA says there will be exclusions for farms that make under $25,000 or grow food that is rarely consumed raw. Even with these exceptions, food processors complying with FDA regulations will likely demand their growers comply as well.
The FSMA regulations are expected to naturally evolve over time with the hope of making the transition to compliance easier. The FDA has included differing rules for each of the many different types of facilities in the global food supply chain. As the FSMA is such a long and complex document, it will take time to assess where your company fits in to the master plan.
The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will be detailed during a “Navigating Food Safety Regulations” training session at the Global Business Connections Conference at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo on March 30, 2016.