Food Safety Program
THE FSMA (FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT) and FSVP (FOOD SUPPLIER VERIFICATION PROGRAM) IS THE LAW.
VIOLATION CAN RESULT IN STOPPING YOUR SHIPMENTS AND MORE.
WHAT IS FSMA?
The Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”) of 2011 was created to prevent, rather than to
react to foodborne illness.
According to the CDC, annual cases of food poisoning result in:
1) 48 million (1 in 6) Americans getting sick
2) 128,000 are hospitalized
3) 3,000 deaths
FSMA provides tools to PREVENT food safety problems BEFORE they occur, rather than trying to identify and REACT to food safety hazards that have already occurred and addresses the safety of humans (and animal foods) from FARM to FORK. There are also provisions to prevent intentional contamination of food.
FSMA encompasses seven (7) rules, each directed to a different industry. One company may fall under several industries. (For ex: I import Product A, pick them up and deliver to my customer, with my own trucks, process or just pack product at my facility.) These rules affect everything in the supply chain, not only produce.
They are as follows:
- Preventive Controls-Human Food
- Preventive Controls – Animal Food
These two require that facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food
MUST implement preventive risk-based controls to ensure food safety. It applies
to both foreign and domestic manufacturers/processors and others.
- Produce Safety
The primary mechanism for reaching out to and educating farmers
- FSVP - Foreign Supplier Verification Program-see below
- Accreditation of Third Party Auditors
- Sanitary Transportation
Efforts to protect foods from farm to table by keeping them safe from contamination during transportation. The goal of this rule is to prevent practices during transportation that create food safety risks, such as failure to properly refrigerate food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food. The rule establishes requirements for shippers, loaders, carriers by motor
or rail vehicle, and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of that food.
- Food Defense (Intentional Adulteration)-
During a Food Safety audit, the certifier stated that being a CTPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) member was one piece of evidence to demonstrate that the food supplier was preventing and protecting against any sabotage or international
WHAT IS THE FSVP?
The Foreign Supplier Verification Program, or FSVP, which is one part (rule) of FSMA was published on November 27, 2015.This portion of FSMA deals with the requirements surrounding food safety of IMPORTED GOODS intended for human consumption in the US. Historically, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has been responsible for certifying imported foods and ensuring their safety through sampling and testing programs, supplier registrations and on-site audits. Now, the burden of assurance is being shifted to the importer.
As an importer, the FDA wants you to make sure that your suppliers’ food safety system meets
the same standards that the FDA requires from domestic food manufacturers.
Under the FSVP, food importers must:
- Anticipate the known and foreseeable hazards that are associated with the food they
- Evaluate the risk of the food and the food safety system that the supplier has in place.
This must be reevaluated every 3 years and when there are any changes with the product
- All the above information is used to approve the foreign supplier if their compliance is
- Corrective actions must be taken if there is any non-compliance to maintain the integrity
of the supply chain.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Food importers must have a written FSVP program and follow these written procedures for verifying the compliance of the foreign suppliers and correcting any known violations. A separate FSVP must be developed for each food item and each foreign supplier, even if it is the same food from different suppliers. All this must be done by a qualified individual.
WHO IS THE FSVP IMPORTER?
- The FSVP Importer must be someone in the USA, who at the time of entry, either owns
the food, has purchased the food, or has agreed in writing to purchase the food.
- It cannot be the Customs Broker.
- The FSVP Importer can but does NOT have to be the Importer of Record (“IOR”).
- The FSVP Importer can be a U.S. Agent or representative.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT HAVE A FSVP PROGRAM IN PLACE?
- If FDA finds any evidence that indicates it appears the importer does not have an
adequate FSVP, FDA can stop the importation of that importer’s shipments, even if the
food is safe and the imported food and the foreign supplier are both in compliance. The
law does not require FDA to prove the importer violates FSVP to stop the importation of
a food. Instead, FDA only has to prove that it appears the importer violates FVSP. This
means that the entry will be rejected.
- Prevent Importer from shipping food to their customer.
- FSVP importer’s food will be placed on an import ALERT.
- Future shipments will be detained without Physical Examination and then refusal of
admission into the USA.
- Defined as a “Prohibited Act”, which means one is committing a criminal act and can be
subject to civil and criminal penalties.
WHERE DO I BEGIN AND HOW DO I KNOW IF IT APPLIES TO ME?
Norman Jaspan Associates, Inc. employs Qualified Individuals (QI) who can:
- Develop a Foreign Supplier Verification Program for your business
- Review your current program and documentation from both you and your business
- Reassess the effectiveness of your FSVP program by being aware of any new information
about the potential risks associated with the food they import and their suppliers.
- Prepare your company for a food safety audit.
- Be present for food safety audits.
Please contact Ronald Jaspan, President of Norman Jaspan Associates, Inc. at
Foodsafety@njai.us or call us at 516-239- 4611 in order to determine if:
- One is subject to the FSVP laws or exempt?
- Do any of these new FSMA rules, other than FSVP, apply to your company?
- Compliance timelines.
- Fee structure.