The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed in to law January 4, 2011 and scheduled to be implemented over the next few years. In this law the FDA was mandated to create at least two pilot projects involving produce and processed foods. The FDA was also tasked with establishing record-keeping requirements to aid in the tracing of high-risk foods. On September 7, 2011, the FDA issued a press release stating it’s intent to implement the mandated pilot projects and their purposes.
The FDA will work with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a non-profit scientific society, to establish these pilot programs under an existing contract with the FDA. The programs are expected to evaluate different methods and technologies for the most rapid and effect tracing of foods. It will also evaluate what types of data are most important, ways to connect various points in the supply chain and methods to ensure that the data is made more readily available to the FDA.
Throughout the pilot programs, key stakeholders will be able to provide input and the FDA has acknowledged that it will make efforts to also include those representing the food supply chain, such as farms, restaurants and grocery stores. Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for foods, stated that they will also consider what is most practical for various sized facilities.
In all, the pilot projects aim to enhance the FDA and industry’s ability to trace foods responsible for foodborne illnesses. After the projects are complete, more data will be gathered and the FDA will issue, as mandated, proposed regulations on record-keeping. They are also slated to define high-risk foods by considering known and potential risks of contamination and illness. Registrar Corp will continue to post new developments and is available for discussion by phone at +1-757-224-0177or 24/7 via online Live Help. To receive U.S. FDA regulatory updates, visit: https://www.registrarcorp.com/fda-updates