Industry optimistic about new FSMA deadlines, draft guidance

Industry optimistic about new FSMA deadlines, draft guidance

On Tuesday, FDA issued a draft guidance for the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule and extended deadlines for compliance of specific provisions of Food Safety Modernization Act rules.

Industry groups responded positively to the updates.

“While the Preventive Controls rule embodies one of the basic pillars of FSMA, which is to thwart the contamination of food and to prevent foodborne illness from occurring, food retailers are well aware that prevention starts with strong good manufacturing practices followed by conducting a rigorous hazard analysis to identify and evaluate any known and reasonably foreseeable hazards,” Hilary Thesmar, FMI’s VP, food safety programs, said in a statement.

“FMI appreciates FDA's acknowledgement that the ‘relatively rare occurrence of significant safety concerns associated with the manufacture of food contact substances,’ and finished products, together with FDA’s extensive premarket review of these substances, provides adequate assurances of safety.”

Thesmar also said FMI was pleased with FDA’s extension of compliance deadlines for certain aspects of the rules, such as requirements related to food contact substances under the foreign supplier verification rule.

The United Fresh Produce Association also expressed approval over extended compliance dates and looked forward to working with FDA on rule implementation.

“With the first compliance deadline for the Preventive Controls Rule less than a month away, our members continue to ask questions about which rule(s) they are subject to. We are hopeful that the draft guidance pertaining to industry classification for farms and facilities released today will provide examples that help the fresh produce industry understand which rules apply to them,” United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a statement.

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