Update on the Food Safety Modernization Act

Update on the Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011, but only recently have the federal agencies assigned to enforce the law put real teeth into it. The anticipated storms of rules, regulations, acronyms, and budget increase requests are in full force.[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]

The impact of the fully implemented act obviously will be felt by everyone in the food chain, from grower to consumer. FDA’s 2014 budget request alone is $4.65 billion—a whopping 21+ percent increase over 2012/2013.

The purpose of the FSMA— a major overhaul to previous federal law— is to ensure that the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to food contamination to preventing it. According to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year as the result of foodborne diseases.

The reach of the FSMA is extremely broad, and growing (details can be found at www.fda.gov/FSMA). Examples include the U.S. Department of Agriculture digging in deeper to establish science-based minimum standards in areas such as: product labeling, preventive controls, increased inspection & compliance, soil amendments, hygiene, water quality, production & harvesting, foreign vendor requirements, third party accreditation, recall response, packaging, temperature controls, food defense, and animal food. The list goes on.

ACS remains at the forefront in maintaining the desired results of the Global Food Safety Initiative, and recently renewed its international accreditation with BRC through an extensive AIB audit. The federal goal is to insure the food you put on your family table or enjoy at your favorite restaurant is safe to eat. We can only hope that these well-intentioned efforts do not become a new, out of control and costly bureaucratic nightmare.

CREDITS

column by BEN ADAMS, JR.

BIO: Ben Adams Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage LLC in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion plan on the horizon.

This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage.[/emember_protected]