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Since January 4, 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act has existed in legislation and was to amend part of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.  Over the nearly six years in existence, there have been numerous questions as to who is impacted and when.  I have encouraged everyone who believes they will be impacted by the Act and the supporting Rules that they review the US Food & Drug Administration website for updates and the specifics to the act and rules.  I have encouraged and recommended companies to ensure that they have the right individuals involved who can read and understand the legislation and the regulations that apply to both foreign and domestic companies.

What we have found is that there are numerous companies that still do not understand the impact of FSMA and how to go about determining next steps.  First you should download and/or print out the full text of the law and then download the supporting rules.  There are a number of Facts & Presentations available on the FDA FSMA website that can be very useful, especially when communicating to your company’s senior leadership team.  Just remember that senior leaders will only want and need to know the key areas that the company must comply with and then the full contents are used for those that most develop and execute the program and actions.

Do not wait until the last minute to start, this takes time and money — and speaking from experience, it can take several years to have the basics.  One piece of advice, if you do what is right in protecting your food supply, you should meet or exceed the regulations.