The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) was specifically formed to help facilities comply with the new changing regulations.
The rule requires registered food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human consumption to take these steps:
- Maintain a food-safety plan;
- Analyze where hazards pertaining to food safety exist in their operations; and
- Put preventive controls into place for dealing with those hazards.
Facilities also have to verify and document that their preventive controls are working. Also, according to the rule, the plans must be re-analyzed at least once every three years.
Compliance dates vary according to the size of the company. But for the largest ones, the deadline is Sept. 16. Small and mid-sized companies have until September 2017, and very small companies have until September 2018.
The reason behind the regulations
- “The whole purpose is public health,” said Bob Brackett of the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance “If everyone’s onboard, we’ll have safer food.”
- “FDA doesn’t make food safe,” said Jim Gorny, vice president of food Safety and technology for the Produce Marketing Association. “It’s the responsibility of the industry to make food safe. Ultimately, we’ll have an even safer food supply.”
- “It’s about adopting a culture of food safety to produce safe food,” said Donna Garren, regulatory affairs and technical specialist with the American Frozen Food Institute.
What if facilities miss the deadline?
- If a facility is not in compliance, the FDA can issue a warning letter of violations and list the changes that need to be made. Once the changes are made, the FDA will re-inspect.
- The agency can ask the facility to recall a product, or products, voluntarily.
- The agency can mandate a recall.
- The agency can withdraw a facility’s registration.
- The agency can go to court and seek a permanent injunction.