One year later: Update on Food Safety Modernization Act

One year ago, Paragon did a report on the state of food safety and how legislation and leadership in the industry needs to increase regulation and accountability in all stages of the supply chain. We talked with Jerry Wojtala, the executive director of The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), who outlining the Food Safety Modernization Act that was in the process of being reviewed by the House and Senate and the impact the legislature would have on the food industry as a whole.

“With regard to changes to the food industry in general, we can expect all food companies to be required to have a hazard food plan in place and available for inspection (ex: HAACP), food traceability requirements for all raw and manufactured food, food performance standards will be used during inspections, and on-farm regulations will be established.” Jerry Wojtala

In January 2011, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law. Six months since the law passed, what changes have been made? The FDA recently reported on the progress of implementation of FSMA.

The new law gives the FDA more power to demand full-disclosure of the source of food and also the power to detain food that could be potentially harmful to humans or animals. The first phase of the law also includes building food safety education through training.

“Very importantly, the FSMA calls for the strengthening of existing collaboration among all food safety agencies whether they are Federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, or foreign. Among other provisions, the legislation directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to improve training of state, local, territorial and tribal food safety officials and authorizes grants for training, conducting inspections, building capacity of labs and food safety programs, and other food safety activities. Building and leveraging the capacity of these food safety partners is how we can have a well-integrated, national food safety system that is as effective and efficient as it can be.” Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs

References:                                                                                       http://www.foodsafety.gov/news/fsma.html                                       http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/UCM261733.pdf

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