The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is increasing regulations and restrictions for food manufacturing companies. Failure to comply with the regulations brings with it the threat of mandatory recalls, enhanced inspections, severe penalties, and more. Visit here for more information about the FSMA, its purpose, the implications and impact, and how regulations can be met.
In addition to understanding the act itself and what it is intended to achieve, it is also important to have a good understanding of the timelines and deadlines associated with it. These carry significant importance for food manufacturing businesses and are required to be met.
The History of the Food Safety Modernization Act
The FSMA was originally signed and put into place in January of 2011. Like most laws and regulations, it takes time to implement the laws contained within it. This is certainly true for the FSMA, and implementation is still in process. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gradually releases new regulations following processes that allow for public and industry input. The FDA’s role has expanded significantly since with the new act, but they have only been able to gradually increase their resources which lengthens the implementation timeframes. In 2012, the registration system was implemented. On the contrary, product-tracing required by the new laws was still not finalized in 2014. In 2014, a large number of the act’s statues were approved, but they have yet to be regulated by the FDA and are therefore not yet implemented.
The Current Reality of where the FSMA Stands Today
Of the many facets included in the act, the FDA’s increased inspection schedule has still not been rolled out. This inspection schedule is an important part of the process, but there is still a need for the FDA to have budget increases in order to support this schedule. Food manufacturing companies are not yet subject to these enhanced inspections, but they will be once the funds are greatly increased over the next few years to support them.
The Future Outlook of the FSMA Deadlines
According to the schedule, all rules should be finalized within the FSMA in the beginning of 2016. This will be followed, one to four years later, by compliance deadlines. In essence, the FSMA rules and regulations should all be implemented by 2020. This is a final deadline with the hope being to have these in place even sooner. It is important to note that the size of your company matters in terms of when you must be within compliance. As a general rule, it is the case that the larger the company, the shorter the timeframe for compliance. This is likely due to their increased budget and likelihood of already having food manufacturing software in place to help them follow and uphold rules. The rules involved cover preventive control human food, produce safety, food defense, sanitary transport, third-party accreditation, and more.
In order to meet deadlines and abide by regulations, your business will likely need food manufacturing software to get the job done. This should include enterprise resource planning (ERP) for food manufacturers such as Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3). This is just one such food manufacturing software that can help in meeting regulations by supporting tracking, accounting, and record keeping.
ERP for food manufacturers can be of significant help in meeting deadlines and ensuring regulations are upheld. For further information about ERP for food manufacturers and to access a chart outlining deadlines to be in compliance with food regulations, download our whitepaper “What Food Manufacturers Need to Know about the Food Safety Modernization Act.”
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