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Food Manufacturing: Knowing the Regulations

Published on: May 05, 2015

Did you know that major new food safety legislation is reshaping the entire food industry? If you are in the food manufacturing industry, you will need to be prepared. Do you understand what the Food Safety Modernization Act is and what it is all about? Let’s take a closer look to find out more information about the act and answer some important questions about it.

Understanding the Food Safety Modernization Act

Following the largest threat to safety and security that the United States has ever seen on September 11th, safety and security are more of a major priority than ever before. This includes the importance of food security. In response, a registration system was created for food companies that also included the implementation of controls intended to improve the safety of the food system. A decade later, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was created. It further expanded the previous regulations and is the most expansive shift in food manufacturing regulations that has been seen in a long time. By expanding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) power and position, the FSMA also expands the burden felt by the food and beverage industry who are responsible to uphold the regulations.

What purpose does the FSMA serve?

You’ve likely heard the expression, “It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” The FSMA’s intention is to reverse this thinking and shift the role of food safety from reaction to prevention. Instead of responding to outbreaks that are caused by foodborne diseases, the purpose of the act is to prevent outbreaks from happening in the first place. From farm to table, the FDA now has much greater power and authority over the entire food system thanks to the new act’s extension of its power. Not only is the FDA now able to have much greater enforcement compliance power, but the overall burden of compliance has increased substantially. This enforcement compliance granted to the FDA encompasses mandatory recall authority, greater access to records, expanded inspections, and a control and documentation program that is mandatory.

What is the impact FSMA has and will continue to have?

As a food and beverage manufacturer and distributor, this has significant implications. The burden has significantly increased to be able to prove your entire operations are properly run to ensure food safety, and this necessitates using food industry software. Safety of food will need to be proved prior to going to market instead of only being necessary after a safety violation has occurred. There is a financial investment piece to this as well because of the required expansion of testing, auditing, and documenting that will need to be instated within the company as well. This requires an investment in food industry software. If compliance regulations are not met, there is significant threat of mandatory recalls, enhanced inspections, severe penalties, and potential for federal or other regulator lawsuits.

What can assist in meeting the regulations?

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, such as Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3), offers great assistance in meeting all of these FSMA regulations by automating processes. This food industry ERP software has the potential to relieve the burden of the requirements and help reduce the chance of negative consequences. For more information on food industry ERP software that will suit your food manufacturing needs, contact us.

Although there are many regulations to meet in the food manufacturing world, it is possible with the assistance of food industry ERP software that helps to get the job done. To learn more about the Food Safety Modernization Act, the industries it affects, key statutes, and how to be compliant using food industry software, stay tuned to the blog and also download our whitepaper “What Food Manufacturers Need to Know about the Food Safety Modernization Act.”


Our small and dedicated team specializes in helping small-to-medium size Canadian businesses and non-profits select and adapt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resource Management (HRMS) and IT services. With IWI’s 15 years in business and 100 plus years of combined experience, IWI has helped hundreds of manufacturing, distribution, and financial service companies gain efficiency, grow, and lower their operating costs.

With the unique combination of industry knowledge and diverse technology expertise, IWI provides cost-effective solutions to help clients gain a competitive edge. As a Sage business partner, servicing the Greater Toronto Area, we support evaluation and implementation of operations and finance systems to optimize technology, ensuring high return on investment with a quick and painless transition to new software.