The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food rule is now final, and compliance dates for some businesses began in September 2016.
This final rule is the product of an unprecedented level of outreach by the FDA to industry, consumer groups, the agency’s federal, state, local and tribal regulatory counterparts, academia and other stakeholders. This outreach began before the rule was proposed in January 2013.
In response to input received during the comment period and during hundreds of engagements that included public meetings, webinars, listening sessions, and visits to farms and food facilities across the country, the FDA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking in September 2014. The proposed revisions were designed to make the originally proposed rule more practical, flexible, and effective for industry, while still advancing the FDA’s food safety goals.
The final rule has elements of both the original and supplemental proposals, in addition to new requirements that are the outgrowth of public input received during the comment period for both proposals. For example, flexibility has been built into key requirements, including control of the supply chain, and the definition of farms— which are exempt from these regulations— has significantly changed to reflect modern farming practices.