To cut back on confusion related to U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations for low-acid canned foods, juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), or seafood HACCP, the agency has put out an explanation of certain exemptions from FSMA.

Specifically, FDA has released three guidances to help producers of food commodities covered by these earlier regulations understand which parts of the FSMA rules apply to them and how the FSMA rules may affect their operations.

FDA’s HACCP and low-acid canned foods regulations were in place long before the FSMA rules became final.  FDA’s HACCP regulations for juice and seafood processors require processors to perform a hazard analysis and develop a HACCP plan to address biological, chemical, and physical hazards, monitor the conditions and practices and make corrections as needed. FDA’s low-acid canned foods regulation addresses biological hazards such as Clostridium botulinum unique to such foods, which include canned vegetables.

FSMA recognizes that FDA has previously-established regulations that are specific to seafood, juice, and low-acid canned foods and so some exemptions have been made in the FSMA rules for these products. However, there are still some requirements in the FSMA regulations that apply to processors of the seafood, juice, and low-acid canned foods products.

The new guidances aim to help industry identify these exemptions and understand the juice, seafood, and low-acid canned foods regulations in connection with some of the new FSMA requirements. The overarching goal of many of the new FSMA requirements is to reduce the number of foodborne illnesses attributed to the preventable contamination of FDA-regulated food products.

You can find all three guidances online:

Low-acid canned foods and FSMA 

Juice HACCP and FSMA

Seafood HACCP and FSMA

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