FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
In 2011 the US Congress, along with President Obama, passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). It was the largest overhaul to the United States’ food laws since 1938. The new law tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with writing rules to keep America’s food supply safe. Seven major rules were written, covering different sectors of the supply chain: Produce Safety, Preventative Controls for Human and Animal Food, Sanitary Transport of Human and Animal Food, Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, Accredited Third-Party Certifications, and Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration Rule.
CCOF certified organic operations have long prioritized food safety. Some may argue that organic was one of the first food safety laws, working to protect consumers from harmful pesticide residues. In this new age of food safety regulations, we’re working with the organic community to ensure the safest possible products meet the consumer, from farm to table. Keep an eye on the CCOF calendar of events for upcoming food safety and FSMA trainings.
The FDA’s final Produce Safety Rule covering farms and the Preventative Controls Rule for Human Food, covering some packing and processing facilities, touch almost all CCOF certified operations. We encourage you to review the linked factsheets for each rule listed above. The National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition (NSAC) has developed a helpful flowchart for farms and food businesses to help you determine which part of the FSMA rules you are affected by.
FSMA does not require third-party food safety certification for U.S.-based farms, however, GFSI benchmarked food safety certifications are a good way to prepare for FSMA and can be your passport to expanding markets. CCOF’s Food Safety Certification Services offers various options to meet the needs of different buyers, including to the GLOBALG.A.P. standards for farms and packing houses.
Please see the following links for more information about FSMA:
- FDA’s FSMA homepage
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) Food Safety Blogs, including detailed analysis of the new rules
- Produce Safety Rule flow chart and fact sheet
- Preventative Controls for Human Food fact sheet (also available in Spanish)
- Preventative Controls for Animal Food fact sheet (also available in Spanish)
- Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) fact sheet and flow chart
Food Safety Resources:
- On Farm Food Safety Project – developed to help producers create their own food safety plan
- Helpful templates for essential record keeping
- The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) food safety page
- UC Davis Small Farm Food Safety Program
- Center for Produce Safety (CPS)
- CPS Technical papers and so much more
- Produce Safety Alliance
- Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)
- United Fresh Produce Association