Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – Implication for Feed Safety Enforcement

FSMA, which became law in January 2011, is designed to give FDA more authority to protect the safety of food for humans and animals. It gives FDA new authorities for addressing issues concerning the safety of food for animals and will ultimately change the overall enforcement actions taken by state and federal regulatory authorities.

Generally speaking, FSMA has four main themes: prevention; inspection, compliance, and response; import safety; and enhanced partnerships.

The prevention rules applying to animal food facilities are similar to Good Manufacturing Practices regulations currently in place for human food and for some aspects of the CGMPs for medicated feed. It is important to note that FDA is placing much emphasis on the different expectations between pet food manufacturers and animal feed mills.  The cGMP rules apply to personnel, plant and grounds, sanitary operations, sanitary facilities and controls, equipment and utensils, process and controls, and warehousing and distribution.

Other requirements of the regulations include:

  • Having written food safety plans
  • Conducting hazard analyses
  • Implementing controls to address hazards
  • Monitoring the controls to make sure they are effective, taking corrective action when a problem is discovered
  • Verifying that the corrective action was effective
  • Having a recall plan in place
  • Having a supplier approval and verification program

FSMA gives FDA new authority to require a mandatory recall if a firm with an unsafe food product fails to act quickly to voluntarily recall the product. It also gives FDA a more flexible standard for administratively detaining products that are potentially in violation of food safety requirements. And under FSMA, FDA will continue working with industry and other experts to develop programs for rapidly tracing domestic and imported food.

FSMA also extends to animal food ingredient imports. It gives FDA unprecedented authority to make sure that imported products meet U.S. standards. Under FSMA, importers are responsible for making sure that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure the safety of their products.