The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 26 finalized its seventh major rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
According to an FDA news release, the regulations were made “to systematically strengthen the food safety system and better protect public health.”
The most recent rule requires companies in the United States and abroad to take steps to prevent intentional adulteration of the food supply. Domestic and foreign food facilities are required to complete and maintain a written food defense plan that assesses their potential vulnerabilities to deliberate contamination where the intent is to cause wide-scale public health harm.
“Today’s final rule on intentional adulteration will further strengthen the safety of an increasingly global and complex food supply,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, incoming deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine of the FDA. “The rule will work in concert with other components of FSMA by preventing food safety problems before they occur."
In a previous rule involving the Food Safety Modernization Act, shippers and motor carriers are required to ensure that vehicles are properly refrigerated and cleaned when transporting food.
Specifically, the rule establishes requirements for:
- Vehicles and transportation equipment: The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food it transports to become unsafe. For example, they must be suitable and adequately cleanable for their intended use and capable of maintaining temperatures necessary for the safe transport of food.
- Transportation operations: The measures taken during transportation to ensure food safety, such as adequate temperature controls; preventing contamination of ready to eat food from touching raw food; protection of food from contamination by non-food items in the same load or previous load; and protection of food from cross-contact.
- Training: Training of carrier personnel in sanitary transportation practices and documentation of the training. This training is required when the carrier and shipper agree the carrier is responsible for sanitary conditions during transport.
- Records: Maintenance of records of written procedures, agreements and training (required of carriers). The required retention time for these records depends upon the type of record and when the covered activity occurred but does not exceed 12 months.
More information on the rule can be found here.
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