Food Safety Modernization Act

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fda-fsma-logoAt the recent American Bakers Association (ABA) Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee (FTRAC) meeting in Washington DC several topics were presented that might be of interest to retail bakeries. Among these is the implementation by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  FSMA will provide some bakeries with challenges that will need to be addressed.  In addition, changes in state law in Vermont
will affect wholesalers whose products will potential be sold there.

FSMA Issues

Food Facilities

Under FSMA some bakeries will need to register with the FDA as food facilities regardless of size.  The key is the percentage of wholesale sales of the business.  If the percentage of wholesale is greater than retail sales, that business most register with the FDA under FSMA as a food facility.  There are different deadlines for compliance based on whether it is a small business (less than 500 fulltime equivalent employees) or a very small business (less than $1 million in sales of human food).  Please look at the FDA website for further information.
Under FSMA, if your bakery or business imports food items for resale, if not already, you will need to register your business with the FDA and have a Food Safety Verification Plan (FSVP) for each product imported.  Under FSMA “an importer must, for each food that it imports, implement an FSVP for each foreign supplier before importing a food into the United States as necessary to provide assurance that hazards in food requiring a control are significantly minimized or prevented.”

The FSVP must include:

* a written hazard analysis;
* an evaluation of the risks posed by a food and the foreign
* supplier’s performance;
* supplier verification activities to allow the importer to
* approve the foreign supplier, and
* corrective action procedures.

Please look at the FDA website for further information and guidelines.

GE Product Labeling in Vermont

This new law applies to any food containing Genetically Engineered (GE) ingredients sold in Vermont after July of this year.  While this may not apply to many RBA members, it doesn’t involve any product sold over the internet, it is something to be aware of.  It applies to any product that contains any more than .9% GE material.  These products need to be labelled as such.  The law is much more complicated than what is laid out in this paragraph and the penalties can be onerous.  If you are involved in wholesaling and your products are shipped across state lines, potentially you are subject to the Vermont law.  Please check with your distributor regarding compliance the Vermont law.

ABA’s FTRAC meets in person three times annually. It conducts conference calls and with ABA staff has subcommittees work on topics that impact the baking industry.  In conjunction with ABA staff it issues reports and bulletins as issues develop that impact the industry.  RBA has been a member of the committee since 2014 and provides a voice for the retail bakery industry at these meetings.  It also gains valuable insights into the issue and problems facing the baking industry through our participation.

Dennis Stanton
RBA Board of Directors
Swedish Bakery