The Food Safety Modernization Act:
Everything You Need To Know About The Role Of Foodservice Distributors And Transportation Companies. In the world of transportation and logistics, adhering closely to an ever-evolving landscape of laws and regulations is crucial—and can often make a major difference in ensuring the safety of consumers.
When it comes to safety, the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is one of the strongest measures put in place in the United States to protect consumers from spoiled or infected food products.
While the regulation is extremely important, it can be difficult to understand every party’s role in adhering to it, from food manufacturers to food distributors.
That’s why we decided to create this guide to understanding the FSMA as well as the crucial role of food manufacturers and transportation companies in delivering safe food to consumers.
Let’s get started!
Origins Of The Food Safety Modernization Act
Before we jump into the nuts and bolts of the regulation, it’s important to understand how and why it came about.
While the United States has a very safe food supply compared to the rest of the world, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 48 million people (which amounts to about 1 in 6 Americans) are affected by foodborne illness.
Of these 48 million, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.
While major outbreaks are not a daily occurrence, there has been no shortage of them in the past decade, ranging from a 2008 Salmonella outbreak in peanut products to a 2018 E.Coli outbreak that led to a major romaine lettuce recall.
Aside from major outbreaks, the number of total outbreaks each year in the United States has consistently been in the hundreds over the past decade.
Taking a Step Forward from the Sanitary Food Transportation Act
The Food Safety Modernization Act is an expansion of the Sanitary Food Transportation Act, which was passed in 2005. It builds on the original regulation, establishing requirements for shippers, loaders, carriers and receivers that are involved in transporting human and animal food.
What Is The Food Safety Modernization Act?
The Food Safety Modernization Act is a rule designed to prevent foodborne illness by establishing greater control over production, storage, distribution, and inspection processes.
In many ways, it simply increases the FDA’s role and authority in ensuring food safety and preventing contaminations and outbreaks.
- The FSMA makes the FDA’s role in food safety extremely preventative rather than reactive, requiring the FDA to mandate comprehensive, prevention-based controls across the food supply.
- The FSMA gives the FDA more authority to conduct compliance inspections. The frequency of these inspections is based on risk of contamination.
- The FSMA gives the FDA mandatory recall authority, which allows the FDA to quickly respond to issues as they occur, and stop outbreaks before they become widespread.
- The FSMA allows the FDA to address major weaknesses in import safety and helps to ensure that US food safety standards are being met when it comes to imported food products.
- The FDA has built stronger partnerships with other food agencies and private entities to enhance the effectiveness of the regulation.