Food recalls across the United States seemed to be everyday news last year. Eggs, beef, tuna and lettuce just to name a few-were all recalled at one time or another for a variety of reasons. Recent year, lawmakers hope new legislation will eventually make food recalls rare news events. President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law, marking the first overhaul of the U.S. food safety infrastructure in nearly 75 years.
It is a major step towards improving how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protect people from preventable illnesses that sicken millions and kill thousands of Americans every year. Food professionals need to keep attentive on the actual details of the Food Safety Modernization Act and how the FDA will interpret the act and promulgate the new regulations. In the past, the FDA has played the role of police officer, only tracking down trouble when problems arose.
Changes made by New Law:
- The new law works to improve, food safety through six means: mandatory recalls; focus on the biggest risks; mandatory inspections; access to records; more control over imports; and preventive controls.
- The legislation gives the FDA the authority to issue its own recalls of contaminated products, along with increased access to manufacturer records in the case of emergencies.
- The new law creates a new system in which government and food processors work together to keep contamination from ever occurring in the first place.
- The law will allow third-party verification and testing to ensure FDA-regulated products meet the standards set by the agency. This type of third-party provider includes laboratories, inspection bodies, management systems certification bodies, product certification bodies and personnel certification bodies. Accredited third-party conformity assessment is founded on international standards and focuses on building and operating, well-defined and repeatable processes are ensuring accurate and reliable test results.
Role of ASQ (American Society for Quality)
- ASQ has been active in educating legislators and FDA officials of the importance of accredited third-party conformity assessment with oversight.
- ASQ, through its Public policy Advisory Committee (PPAC), and ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board will continue to work with Congress through the appropriations process, making certain the already established international standards are recognized as the, regulations through which the new law will be enforced.
It’s estimated that FDA will take up to three years to fully implement all of the act’s provisions.
Hence, through Food Safety Modernization Act FDA will have a level of oversight by working in partnerships with third parties and which will eventually support the role of the agency to provide self-assurance in the entire lifespan of the products.
mdi is assisting food companies in setting up and implementing detailed quality systems to meet these new standards. We have assisted companies with BRC (British Retail Consortium) and ISO22000/PAS220 standards. If you are interested in understanding these standards better and what it would take for your company to meet these standards please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and ref: IFSS?If there are any questions on this new Industry Update please contact us via email at email@example.com and ref: IFSS.