On September 17, 2015, the FDA published final rules for Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food and, continuing into 2016, the FDA intends to finalize the remaining five rules it has proposed to implement FSMA.
There will be extensive outreach to industry to help ensure that everyone who seeks to comply with these rules, whether legally required to or not, understands the new requirements.
The compliance dates vary, in part, according to the size of the business.
Food industry training will be an important component of successful implementation. The Produce Safety Rule (as proposed) and the Preventive Controls rules all have training components, although they are not the same for each rule.
There will be ample time for farmers and food producers to come into compliance. Compliance dates for the rules (including the Produce Safety rule as proposed) are staggered according to the size of the business.
While members of the food industry are ultimately responsible for getting the training they need to comply with the FSMA rules, the FDA recognizes the importance of its role in facilitating that training. For the agency, this means joining with public and private partners in state, federal, tribal and international governments, industry, and academia in the development and delivery of training.
The Alliances are working to ensure that training opportunities available to international food businesses are consistent with those being provided domestically. FSPCA—working with PSA, as well as representatives of importers and foreign governments, and others—has established an International Subcommittee to address the training, education and technical assistance needs of global stakeholders.
More on the individual Alliances:
- The most longstanding is the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA), a partnership created between Cornell University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA in 2010.
- The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA), initiated in 2011 and coordinated by Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health, is developing a standardized training and education program and technical information network to help the domestic and foreign food industry, including certain mixed-type facilities on farms, comply with the requirements of the Preventive Controls rules for human and animal food, as well as the forthcoming rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP).
- The Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA), initiated in 2012 and coordinated by Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health, is serving as a network hub and resource for the sprout industry, and federal and state regulatory agencies. SSA is developing:
The Alliance-developed materials will be publically available for use in training activities and as benchmarks for others developing equivalent curricula.
FDA is on a path to working with public and private partners globally to ensure that training programs meet the needs of those who must comply with the new FSMA standards, no matter their size, nature or location.