What FSMA Means for Food Processing Companies (Hint: A Lot of Work!)

This is a guest blog post by Teri and Alicia of Northwest Food Solutions

The Biggest Food Legislation Change In Decades

Many of our clients and colleagues are talking about FSMA these days. The new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the largest piece of legislation we’ve seen passed in the food and beverage industry since 1938, so there’s lots to talk about. Changes in food production and an increase in food borne illness are both drivers for the overhaul of the regulations.

 New FSMA updates are comprehensive. They give the FDA more power, and require a broader section of the industry to comply with FDA regulation.

If You Are A Food Processor, Get Ready To Re-Work Your Food Safety Plans

To achieve compliance, most companies will be reworking their food safety plans, using the new FSMA regulation as a guide.  This is a long and complicated process. FSMA compliance dates are staggered, with large companies requiring compliance last fall. Many of those organizations have been working for over a year on their plans.  Another wave of compliance occurs this fall (September 2017) which covers small to medium sized business.

We’re Here To Help

Northwest Food Solutions and OMEP kept busy during the long, cold winter by creating curriculum intended to help our clients achieve FSMA compliance.  Our goal was to develop a sequenced process to deliver the FSMA standards to our clients.

Two Success Models

We developed two models to achieve our goal.  Model one is a group approach we’re calling the cohort method. In the cohort model, we bring 5-10 organizations together to work on curriculum as a group. The group shares ideas on implementation and reviews each other’s work. The cross functional approach allows for a deeper understanding of the regulations. Team members will audit other sites and provide feedback to assist in ensuring audit readiness. 

The second model, a direct consulting approach, utilizes the same framework as the cohort in terms of breaking down the regulations.  This model allows the team to go at their own pace and focus solely on their site.  It also requires more resources per company.

This past week we held a webinar to talk about how Northwest Food Solutions and OMEP are coming together to provide resources towards achieving FSMA compliance. Learn more and watch the webinar at the link below. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out via the form below.

Wishing you the best of luck on your FSMA compliance journey!

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