This is a guest blog post by Teri and Alicia of Northwest Food Solutions
What is FSMA?
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.
What Does FSMA Mean for My Company?
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.
What Resource are Available to Help with FSMA Compliance?
Northwest Food Solutions and OMEP have created a curriculum intended to help small food processors achieve FSMA compliance. Our goal is to develop a sequenced process to deliver the FSMA standards to our clients.
How Can Small Food Processors Comply with FSMA?
There are two models. Model one is a group approach we’re calling the cohort method. In the safe food 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.