The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took one of the most significant steps in decades to prevent foodborne illness by finalizing the first two of seven major rules under the bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The two rules finalized today, the preventive controls rules, focus on implementing modern food manufacturing processes for both human and animal foods. The announcement will ensure that food companies are taking action and working with the FDA to prevent hazards to customers on the front end, rather than waiting to act until an outbreak has occurred.
The preventive controls rules require human and animal food facilities to develop and implement written food safety plans that indicate the possible problems that could affect the safety of their products and outline steps the facility would take to prevent or significantly minimize the likelihood of those problems occurring. This means that food companies will be accountable for monitoring their facilities and identifying any potential hazards in their products and prevent those hazards. Under these rules, the FDA will be able to assess these systems and their outcomes to prevent problems, will better be able to respond when food safety problems occur, and better protect the safety of manufactured food.
The preventive controls final rules are the result of an extensive outreach effort, and incorporate thousands of public comments, including valuable input from farmers, consumers, the food industry and academic experts, to create a flexible and targeted approach to ensuring food safety.
Once the seven FSMA rules are finalized in 2016, they will work together to systematically strengthen the food safety system and better protect public health.
Thursday September 10, 2015/ FAS-USDA/ United States.