The new food safety law (Food Safety Modernization Act) in the US is beginning to impact foreign states. There are a myriad of rules to begin going into effect over the next three years as the FDA implements FSMA. One new rule set to take effect in the new year requires food processors to conform to new standards set out in FSMA.
The impact is simple, conform or your goods are barred entry into the US. The Jamaican government is the first of what is likely several government interventions to help food processors meet FSMA standards. The Jamaican government estimates that of the 200 companies affected by FSMA 80% or 160 are below the required standards. Jamaica exports $118million USD in food annually (common food exports include sugar, bananas, citrus fruits, coffee, & rum). Failing to meet FSMA standards is not an option for the Jamaican government, which has stepped in to assist food processors in meeting FSMA criterion.
Under the new rules set to take effect importers must use a foreign supplier verification program (FSVP) to ensure imported food is not adulterated or misbranded and is produced in accordance with FSMA’s hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls or standards for produce safety, as applicable. This rule takes effect in the new year and will be fully developed over the next two years. Although it is a work in progress companies must begin complying in the new year.
As new rules take effect over the next three years it’s crucial for food processors to closely track and implement the changes. The question now becomes what nation is next to fail FSMA’s import criteria?
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