FSMA Update: Separating Fact and Fiction

The impending roll out of the specifics for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has created more questions than answers. It has also generated a good deal of inaccurate information that is confusing to food processing industry professionals.

We visited with Tim Gallagher, Director of Strategic Accounts for Sprague Pest Solutions and 30 year food industry veteran, to set the record straight on what is fact and fiction when it comes to FSMA.

FSMA Fiction: The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has started levying fines for failed inspections and they are steep.

Fact: The FDA has not released any information on fines; they are still in the proposal phase and nothing has been finalized. Fines are currently in place for re-inspections, recalls and shut downs. Gallagher says food processing facilities should accept that changes are coming and it is recommended they research and keep an eye on the proposed rules, and determine their specific facility will be impacted, if at all.

For example, increased sanitation requirements for modes of transportation (i.e. truck, railcar, etc.) are proposed for 2016 and there will be more oversight on the quality of imported food products which is big business in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain regions.

FSMA Fiction: There is only one “authorized” pest management contractor allowed under FSMA.

Fact: There is no provision in FSMA that creates “authorized” pest management service providers. Food processing facilities are free to work with the pest management company of their choice. Gallagher recommends QA and facility managers perform their due diligence when selecting a pest management partner and look for a firm with proven experience working with GFSI and other audit schemes that can satisfy FSMA’s program and documentation requirements.

“A pest management partner reduces risk and makes the life of QA and facility managers easier,” says Gallagher. “Whether implementing a new program or solidifying an existing one, working with a proven pest professional will make a positive difference in your operation.”

Gallagher says FSMA requirements will impact food processing facilities – big and small – up and down the chain from growers to distributors. “If you transport, store or distribute food, FSMA will be part of your world,” he adds.

Sprague Pest Solutions offers food processors a wealth of experience and solutions to prepare for and manage FSMA requirements. Schedule a time for your Sprague pest management representative to implement or review your FSMA compliance.

Agriculture, Food Processing & Manufacturing, Food Retail & Grocery