In early January, you may have heard, the FDA released two long documents concerning new proposed rules for the farm and for the food industry. The “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food” and the “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” equaled out to hundreds of pages of reading. These proposed new rules would affect a spectrum of businesses, large and small. As a stakeholder in the food industry, you may feel overwhelmed or concerned by such documents and developments. You are not alone.
Thankfully, piece by piece, it is manageable! First, keep in mind that these are proposed rules. The FDA is actively seeking out commentary and insight from industry interests. From policies on personal hygiene in the fields to risk-based preventative controls in food processing operations, there is a chance to get your voice involved in the process of formalizing these new standards. There is also opportunity to clarify and ask questions of the new rules.
Secondly, there are resources out there that can assist in familiarizing yourself with the sweeping changes that are being dealt with in this new FSMA era. Below are two links that may assist in getting the big picture and possible areas of interest that you may want to check out in greater detail.
If you would like to get a general overview of the document that helps break things down a bit, or would like to read the documents yourself, you can click here.
If you are interested in learning more about the Food Modernization Act, the FDA has produced a video primer. The approximately four-minute video can be found here.
Be sure to also be in touch with your FDA representative with any questions or concerns that may arise, as clarity will be key!