Thursday 17 April 2014

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Food Safety Modernization Act Progress Report

The Food Safety Modernization Act passed in January is slowly being implemented. Some sections, like section 103 on preventative controls, won’t take effect until the spring. Other sections are in full effect and some are just around the corner. Here’s the latest from the FDA’s most recent progress report:

 

eptember 2011

FDA Makes 7 Grants To Build Food Safety Capacity

FDA awarded seven grants in September 2011 to five land-grant universities and two training institutes to design, develop and disseminate food and feed safety training programs. These food safety capacity-building grants are aimed at developing the fully integrated food safety system called for by FSMA. The grants totaled $7.3 million and were awarded to: Auburn University, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, University of California-Davis, and University of Tennessee-Knoxville, the International Food Protection Training Institute, and the National Environmental Health Institute (working with Underwriter Laboratories).

Report to Congress on Food Emergency Response Network

The Food and Drug Administration published its FSMA-mandated report to Congress on the status of the Food Emergency Response Network, an integrated and secure network of 172 federal, state and local laboratories. The network is able to detect, identify, respond to and aid in recovery from emergencies as a result of a biological, chemical or radiological contamination of food.

Product Tracing Pilots Launched

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced September 7 that the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific society consisting of professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions, will carry out two new pilot projects aimed at enhancing the agency’s and industry’s ability to trace products responsible for foodborne illness outbreaks.

FSMA required the FDA to establish at least two pilot projects: one involving produce and one involving processed foods. The law also directs the FDA to establish recordkeeping requirements for high-risk foods to help in tracing products.

The pilots will evaluate methods and technologies for rapid and effective tracing of foods, including types of data that are useful for tracing, ways to connect the various points in the supply chain, and how quickly the data are made available to the FDA.

August 2011

FY 2012 Reinspection Fee Schedule and Outreach to Small Businesses

On August 1, as required by FSMA, FDA announced the fiscal year (FY) 2012 fee schedule for certain domestic and foreign facility reinspections, failure to comply with recall orders, and certain importer reinspections.  The fees affect only those parties in the food and feed industry whose non-compliance results in a reinspection.  Comments on FDA’s fees schedule and application of fees were to be submitted to docket Number FDA-2011-N-0528 by October 31, 2011, but the comment period has now been extended to November 30, 2011.  Additionally, on August 1 FDA opened docket number FDA-2011-N-0529 seeking comments on the burden of the FSMA fees for small businesses.  That docket was originally set to close on October 17, 2011, but the comment period has now been extended to November 30, 2011.  The Agency has also recently published a guidance for industry on the implementation of the fee provisions.  This guidance was announced in FDA docket number FDA-2011-D-0721.  Comments can be submitted on the guidance at any time.

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