As an ever-increasing amount of food we eat is from overseas, the challenge of assuring that imported food meets the same safety standards as food grown and produced in the United States continues. On July 29, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published two proposed regulations aimed at addressing this challenge. Consider how these changes may affect your business, as comments on the Proposed Rules may be submitted until November 26, 2013.
Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals -
The first proposed rule establishes requirements for importers in implementing a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP).
The FDA’s proposed FSVP rule, if ultimately adopted, would require importers to have a plan for imported food, including identifying hazards associated with each food that are reasonably likely to occur. It would also require importers to provide adequate assurances that these hazards are being adequately controlled. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) had provided for the foreign supplier verification requirements to be effective in January 2013; however, the FDA has announced its intention not to enforce these provisions until after issuance of the final rule and pronouncement of effective dates for those requirements. Thus, enforcement of these requirements is a year or more away. Nevertheless, companies should contemplate how they will meet these requirements, if they have not done so already.
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