The FSMA & How It Impacts You
There’s no way around it; food safety must always be a priority. The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans (that’s 1 in 6) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases each year. It’s critical for food manufacturers to do their part to curb these numbers.
By now, every FDA-registered food facility should be familiar with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and be in compliance with its requirements. However, since it is still relatively new to the industry, you may still have some questions.
The purpose of this article is to summarize the major components of the FSMA and emphasize the importance of remaining fully compliant. Failure to do so could have a profound negative impact on your business.
What is the FSMA?
The FSMA became law in 2011, and the rules were finalized, published, and became effective in 2015. The purpose of the act was to shift the focus from reacting to a foodborne illness outbreak to preventing it.
The FSMA consists of seven major rules:
1. Preventative Measures for Human Food
2. Preventative Measures for Animal Food
3. Produce Safety
4. Foreign Supplier Verification
5. Third-Party Certification
6. Food Defense
7. Sanitary Transportation
For detailed information about each rule, click here.
How Would Failure to Comply with FSMA Impact My Business?
Simply put, you can’t cut corners when it comes to practicing proper food safety. FSMA is a law, so violations are considered criminal acts.
If the FDA identifies violations at a facility, it will issue a warning letter and publish it publicly on its website. If the facility doesn’t comply within 15 days, penalties will be assessed, which could be as severe as an extended audit of company practices, suspension of registration, and the arrest of responsible parties.
Other negative effects of non-compliance include:
- Fees for additional inspections
- Food recall orders & associated fees
- Seizure of contaminated food articles
- Wrongful death and illness court cases
- Negative media attention
When thinking about FSMA compliance, you should not only consider your own business but your suppliers as well. You should have confidence that the companies who supply the processing aids that come into contact with your food – release agents, for example – are compliant as well and won’t bring your facility into question.
How Avatar Upholds the Highest Standards for Food Safety
Avatar Corporation food industry release agents are formulated for superior quality and performance. Our company is committed to safety, holding the highest level of certifications in the industry and investing in our facility to ensure we maintain a clean, sanitary and compliant environment. Avatar operates at the pharmaceutical level, so you can rest easy knowing that our quality assurance is top-notch. To get pricing, order a sample, connect with a territory manager, or for other inquiries, contact us.