The Complete FSMA Compliance Checklist

The Complete FSMA Compliance Checklist

According to the CDC, 1 in 6 people gets sick from eating contaminated foods.

To combat food safety issues, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) became law in 2011. It gives the Food and Drug Administration the green light to prevent contamination in the food supply.

Every part of the food supply chain has to comply with FSMA. If you’re thinking about jumping into the food production industry, you have to learn about FSMA compliance.

Fortunately, we have you covered. Read on to discover the FSMA compliance checklist to help you navigate this complex law.

1. Review the 7 Rules of FSMA Compliance

There are seven main rules that govern FSMA compliance. These rules address different areas of food production.

There’s a produce safety rule, foreign supplier verification program and use sanitary means to transport food and animal food. There are rules for preventative controls of human and animal foods.

Finally, the most important rule is about food defense. You need to develop a plan to prevent the intentional contamination of food.

2. Train Your Staff

Food safety planning and FSMA compliance must be led by people the FDA considers “qualified individuals.”

These are people in your organization who are Preventative Controls Qualified Individuals (PCQI). You’ll need to ensure that you have staff members who took PCQI training.

3. Develop a Food Safety Plan

Once you have your qualified individuals in place, it’s time to get to work. You need to figure out which FSMA rules apply to your organization.

From there, you’ll perform a risk audit of the current conditions at your facility. The qualified individual needs to identify risks and note if they have major consequences or if they pose a moderate level of risk.

A food safety audit has to cover every touchpoint of the supply chain. Be sure to check everything from storage facilities to product labels. You need to check your entire facility and transport vendors as well.

4. Manage Preventative Controls

The purpose of FSMA is to prevent foodborne illnesses in the general population. As part of your food safety plan, you have to eliminate the hazards you discovered in the audit.

Once you know the points where contamination can occur, you can institute changes to stop contamination altogether. For instance, you add more hand washing and sanitizing stations.

There needs to be a way to verify and enforce these preventative controls. You can conduct regular food testing and monitor the condition of your facility.

The food safety plan doesn’t end with the implementation of preventative controls. You constantly need to validate and reevaluate your controls.

Know the FSMA Compliance Requirements

Every business that grows, manufactures and distributes food has to abide by the rules set out in the Food Safety Modernization Act.

There are seven key rules that make up the FSMA compliance requirements. Once you know what they are, you need to develop a food safety plan and implement it.

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