The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized rules in relation to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Those rules are as follows:
- Produce Safety Rule: meant to establish enforceable safety standards for produce farms. This rule will establish science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce that are designed to work effectively for food safety across the wide diversity of produce farms.
- Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) Rule: will make importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. This rule requires food importers to verify that foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that meets U.S. safety standards. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that imported food accounted for about 19 percent of the U.S. food supply, including about 52 percent of the fresh fruits and 22 percent of the fresh vegetables consumed by Americans.
- Accredited Third-Party Certification Rule: will establish a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies, also known as auditors, to conduct food safety audits of foreign food facilities. establishes a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies to conduct food safety audits and to certify that foreign food facilities and food produced by such facilities meet applicable FDA food safety requirements.
These final FSMA rules are expected to help produce farmers and food importers take steps to prevent problems before they occur. They ultimately build upon another set of FSMA rules finalized in September which mandate modern preventive practices in food processing and storage facilities. These rules work together to systematically strengthen the food safety system and better protect public health.
The FDA has finalized five of the seven major rules that implement the core of FSMA. The remaining two rules on Sanitary Transportation and Intentional Adulteration are scheduled for release in spring 2016.