Learn more about FSMA compliance at the 2017 Food Safety Consortium | November 28– December 1 | The 60-page draft guidance addresses the use of heat treatments as a process control, providing information on understanding potential hazards, design and validation of the heat treatment, establishing and implementing monitoring procedures (and how often), verification, and record keeping.
FDA states that it intends to publish at least 14 chapters of the guidance. In just two weeks, the compliance date for the preventive controls for human food rule falls for small businesses (fewer than 500 full-time employees).
Between 1996 and 2016, sprouts have been responsible to 46 outbreaks in the United States, which has led to nearly 2500 illnesses and three deaths, according to FDA. They have presented a consistent challenge to operators, because sprouts are most often produced in conditions that are ideal for bacteria growth.
Today FDA issued a draft guidance to assist sprout operators in complying with the FSMA Produce Rule, which requires “covered sprout operations take measures to prevent the introduction of dangerous microbes into seeds or beans used for sprouting, test spent sprout irrigation water (or, in some cases, in-process sprouts) for the presence of certain pathogens, test the growing, harvesting, packing and holding environment for the presence of the Listeria species or Listeria monocytogenes, and take corrective actions when needed.”
Large sprout operators must comply with the Produce Rule (applicable provisions) by January 26. Small business must comply by January 26, 2018 and very small businesses by January 28, 2019.
“This guidance provides our current thinking on how to describe the hazard under each of the four rules and which documents we consider to be “documents of the trade” for the purpose of the statements accompanying the food,” according to an FDA release.
The draft is available on the Federal Register and is open for comment 180 days after publication (October 31).
Today FDA published a draft guidance to help qualified facilities in complying with the FSMA Preventive Controls (PC) for Human and Animal Food rules. Businesses that are defined as qualified facilities are subject to modified requirements of the PC rules, which can be met by submitting a form to FDA confirming that the site is implementing PCs to address hazards related to its food or is in compliance with non-Federal food safety laws and regulations.
The draft guidance, “Qualified Facility Attestation Using From FDA 3942a (for Human Food) or Form FDA 3942b (for Animal Food)” discusses how to determine whether a business meets the “qualified facility” definition and how to submit the form that demonstrates this status.
The Federal Register is scheduled to publish the document on May 16, at which point the draft guidance will be available for public comment for 180 days.
The agency wants to establish a user fee program to facilitate audits.
About 15% of the U.S. food supply is imported. And within that figure nearly 80% of seafood, 50% of fresh fruit, and 20% of vegetables come from outside the United States, according to FDA. Under FSMA, the commitment to ensuring the safety of imported foods is a high priority. FDA is releasing a proposed rule, and a companion draft guidance document, to aid foreign entities in proving that they are meeting food safety import requirements.
Accreditation bodies (ABs) submitting applications or renewal applications for recognition in the third-party accreditation program
Recognized ABs and accredited CBs that are participating in the third-party accreditation program and subject to FDA monitoring
Certification bodies (CBs) submitting applications or renewal applications for direct accreditation
In addition to naming those subject to the user fee, the proposed rule defines how the fees would be computed and collected, the agency’s public notification process, and what happens if those subject to the fee do not pay it (i.e., suspension of recognition).
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