After almost ten years of writing and amending, the Food Safety Modernization Act, also known as FSMA is now whole and was official last May 26, 2016. This is after the Food and Drugs Association or FDA has published the remaining seven rules that are included in the act. These rules are made in order to create major change in the current food safety system of the United States. Looking back, the food safety system was developed back in 1938.
One of the most important deadlines on the act has already come and gone, it was mandated that by September 19, majority of the food companies that does not belong in the small business category should be in compliance with the HARPC rule or Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls rule of FSMA. After this one, there are a number of deadlines to be expected.
The most fundamental change was made by FSMA in terms of the how FDA implements the food safety system and this means converting the agency into the proactive one instead of a reactive agency. The new approach of the system is based on the foundation of preventive controls. There are three keys that HARPC is injecting into the system – preventive controls, hazard analysis and risk-based planning.
According to the HARPC rule which is the same as the HACCP program of the USDA, the agent, program, or owner of a food facility must create and put into practice a food safety plan. The preparation of the plan as well as the implementation should be done under the careful watch of one or more qualified personnel under preventive controls.
The major focus of the FSMA is directed to the prevention of spreading any food illnesses which are derived from improper processing and sanitation methods which includes terrorism. One of the critical components that are often overlooked is the pest control.
According to Orkin Pest Control’s director of quality systems, Zia Siddiqi, before the creation of FSMA, pest control was considered a Good Manufacturing Practice that is required in order to perform prevention but majority of the application does not follow proper practice. The act also covers the risk coming from pests and what control point should be put in place to determine when to perform pest control. This is the same in food business that are in Australia, the presence of pests requires Pest Control in Sydney.