Food Safety Modernization Act
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), H.R. 2751, is the largest reform of food safety laws since the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938. FSMA is made up of seven major rules that address fresh produce, human food, animal food, transportation and imported food.
FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to food contamination and outbreaks to prevention. The law has a farm-to-plate approach and impacts all parts of the supply chain, including:
- Growers and farmers
- Distributors and shippers
Producers of human foods and beverages, and animal food/feed must comply with these new regulations and update or set up controls such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for human food and animal food.
Growers of ready-to-eat fruit and vegetables in the United States and abroad will be required to use Good Agricultural Practices on the farm.
The law applies to:
- All FDA-registered food and dairy processors of products not regulated by USDA FSIS (meat and poultry)
- Foreign food processors registered with FDA and exporting food and animal feed to U.S.
- Manufacturers of pet food and animal feed
- Farms that grow certain fruits and vegetables (see Produce Safety Rule)
- Trucking companies and railroads
As of January 26, 2016, the Produce Safety Rule is in effect. The compliance dates vary with farm size:
- Large business — Earns more than $500,000 in average produce sales during the previous three-year period. Compliance by January 26, 2018.
- Small business — Earns more than $250,000 but no more than $500,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three-year period. Compliance by January 28, 2019.
- Very small business — Earns more than $25,000 but no more than $250,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three-year period. Compliance by January 27, 2020.
- Labeling requirement for qualified exemptions — January 1, 2020.
- Retention of records supporting eligibility for a qualified exemption — January 26, 2016.