The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. introduced FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) and signed into law by President Obama for controlling and monitoring the safety and quality of food.
The act applies to humansand animal food, including pets.
Ever since its incorporation, the FSMA certificate and its regulations not only took a boom in the U.S. but other countries around the globe as well, including India.
Looking at the number of illnesses and deaths caused by the poor quality of food being consumed each year, this regulation and certification become much more important.
Before FSMA, the focus was more on responding to food-borne illnesses which has now been shifted to preventing these illnesses, after the FSMA got incorporated.
Under FSMA, the FDA provided seven major rules to be complied by the food industry, these includes–
- Preventive control rules for Human and Animal Food –
Under this requirement, a facility must implement a Food Safety Plan that identifies biological, chemical, and physical hazards related to foods in the facility.
For each hazard being identified, the safety plan must categorize the hazard based on if preventive controls are required and outline them to minimize or prevent the hazard.
The facility must get a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual to create and oversee the development of a Food Safety Plan and for approving the Preventive controls, Verification and Scientific validation process.
The individual may or may not be an employee of the facility.
- Food Safety Plan –
This plan introduces science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, holding, and packing of produce.
This plan gives special attention to Allergens as they are frequently associated with food-borne illnesses and puts more responsibility on manufactures to prevent cross contact and cross contamination.
- Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) Rule –
This rule requires the importers to verify if their foreign suppliers are producing food as per FDA requirements.
The rule provides importers with the flexibility to choose verification activities for each food and supplier, which might include onsite visits, sampling, testing, etc.
- Accredited Third-party Certification –
This rule establishes a voluntary program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies, which can conduct food safety audits and issue certificates based on FSMA.
These bodies can perform 2 types of audits Regulatory Audit, which is the basis for certification.
While GQS provides the consulting audits, conducted to prepare for FSMA FSPCA regulatory audits.
- Good Transportation practices –
This rule ensures protection of food during transportation, via design and maintenance of vehicles and equipment and taking appropriate measures like maintaining proper temperature, protecting food from contamination, etc.
- Intentional Adulteration Rule –
This rule requires facilities to develop and implement Food Defence Plan that assesses vulnerabilities within the facility, identifies a mitigation strategy against each vulnerability, and identifies monitoring procedures, thus preventing the adulteration of food.
A Preventive control qualified individual must also create and oversee the development of the Recall plan.
- Complying With FSMA –
This rule requires facilities to keep complying with the requirements of FSMA in preparing the Food safety plan.
A facility cannot incorporate and prepare for FSMA audits on their own and hence service providers and facilitators like GQS (Global Quality Services) are present to help facilities in India to achieve the task.
GQS helps in ensuring compliance across food facilities and supply chains with FSMA audits, training, testing, and technical services.
GQS audits and services include –
- Pre-certification audits for accredited FSMA certification.
- Gap audits and assessments.
- Preventive control audits.
- Importer compliance audits.
- Food Defence audits.
- Addendum audits for GFSI standards.
GQS audits are based upon the needs of the facilities and focus on specific requirements not covered in the facility’s food safety system.
For any kind of food industries manufacturing Noodles, Fruits, Rice, Pork, Poultry products, Sugar substitutes like Sucralose & Aspartame interested to Know More about FSMA compliance audit, PCQI training, FSMA Certification, FSMA Consultants, FSMA Consultancy, FSMA experts, FSPCA Consultant, VQIP Voluntary Qualified Importer Program Certification
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