The APQC Blog

Proposed Food Safety Rules Released

In a previous blog post, I discussed steps organizations are taking to comply with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) despite a lack of rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcing the law. On January 4, the FDA initiated a 120-day comment period on the first two rules designed to enforce the law.

One of the rules would require food manufacturers and processors to develop formal plans for preventing their products from causing foodborne illnesses. The FDA has proposed that most food manufacturers be required to comply with this rule after one year, while smaller businesses would be granted additional time to comply.

The second rule would establish safety standards for farmers regarding the production and harvesting of produce. An article in The New York Times presents some of the more striking requirements, including that farmers set different purity standards for water used for irrigation and water touching edible parts of crops.

The FDA indicates that more proposed rules will be released soon, and industry groups such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the United Fresh Produce Association have provided support of the two proposed rules. Will your organization be affected by these rules or the FSMA? Do you think these rules represent a meaningful step toward curbing food contamination?