Silver Spring, MD—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized the first two of seven rules under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA believes these rules will help prevent foodborne illness and improve food safety.

The two finalized preventative control rules force human and animal food plants to have written food safety plans in place and note any possible issues that could affect food safety in their lines. The plan must include hazard analysis, preventive controls and oversight and management of preventive controls (including monitoring, corrective actions and verification).

According to a news release from Rivkin Radler LLP,  “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 roll-out dates for companies to comply begin in September 2016.

The rules also update food current good manufacturing practices. One change is that “The FDA’s longstanding position that CGMPs address allergen cross-contact is now explicit in the regulatory text,” according to a statement from the agency.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2015 (online 9/22/15)