Benefits of Food Safety Modernization Act FDA FSMA
After knowing what FSMA is all about, do you have any benefits that you will gain as a trader in the food industry? Just a little recap, FSMA defines a set of standards that companies and businesses have to comply with provided you operate within the borders of the United States. The aim of this standard is to reduce the cases of foodborne diseases that are reported in the country in a year. Currently, the trend is alarming. That is the main reason why FSMA shifted its focus from foodborne disease treatment to prevention measures to reduce the figures.
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Compliance
This act was formulated and passed by Congress in December 2010 and signed into law by President Obama on 4th January 2011. FDA was given the mandate to implement it and to ensure that all the parties or players in the food sector comply.
For you to reap the benefits of FSMA, you need to comply with it and possibly get certification from an accredited body. Unfortunately, or fortunately, you don’t have an option when it comes to compliance. It is mandatory for all companies and businesses in the food sector that deal with 75% of United States foods regulated by this body.
Your compliance is of great importance to you as you cannot operate or run any food business in the United State without compliance. That is how serious things are with this new standard, which is the first major reform in the food industry done in the US in 70 years.
FDA is running 24/7 surveillance on all the companies and businesses that are registered with it to ensure that each one of them always complies with these standards. Failure to comply can result in dare consequences that we are not going to discuss now for it out of the scope of this article. However, you can always get the information that you need from the ISO-Pros experts.
What are the benefits of the Food Safety Modernization Act?
The benefits of FSMA Standards are drawn from the basic rules that it has in place. From the seven rules, we get that FSMA has the following benefits to the food industry and the public in general:
Protection of public health
This benefit of FSMA will answer the question of why should it exist in the first place. It seems that the critics still don’t understand the need for FSMA. Remember that the public is not aware of the food production processes. What they probably know are the various brands that come to the market. They need to have someone who represents them at the production sites and during the distribution so that they don’t suffer from foodborne diseases.
Look at it from this perspective, the consumers are your loved ones most likely mothers, sisters, children, and other relatives. Would like that they suffer from diseases related to food contamination? And how would you feel if you are the person who is directly affected by this? FSMA is in place to protect the public from food-related illnesses.
FSMA does not only concern itself about the safety of the food that is being produced but also the quality by setting up standards for production. It is important to note that the same food safety standards that are in place can also serve to control quality. For uniformity of the processed foods in the market, the FSMA standards become useful. It also prevents the overexploitation of consumers by companies and businesses.
Improves the working conditions
Over one million people in the United States work in the food industry. Since working conditions in these industries are directly related to food contamination, these standards specify the minimum conditions at the workplace that also protects the population working in those areas. By keeping the standards high in your specific area, you will automatically have a conducive working environment for your workers. Do you know what this means to your company? You will realize high productivity from your staff.
Reduced cases of foodborne diseases reported
The main aim of FSMA was to reduce or eliminate cases of foodborne diseases. It was found out that by setting up the standards for production, processing, packing, manufacturing, and distribution of food products, the level of contamination can be greatly reduced that also reflects in the reduced cases of foodborne diseases reported by the CDC in a year.
Protects the country against risks of imported foods
Good amounts of foods that are consumed in the United States are imported. The FSMA also specifies the standards for imported goods. It is not possible to stop the importation of foods into the country, but it is very possible to regulate the safety and standard of that food through the new FSMA rules.
Challenges the faces FSMA implementation
Despite the benefits that come with the FSMA implementations, some challenges need to be addressed. The following are some of the challenges identified so far:
Lack of public awareness – Many people are still not even aware of the existence of FSMA. And if they do, then they don’t what is all about.
Lack of proper management – Many companies have management that is not even concerned about these new standards. They don’t show their commitment to implement these standards most probably because they are no aware of the benefits that come with them.
Lack of adequate resources – Some recommendations of FSMA require resources to implement. In cases where a company does not have the needed resources, it becomes very difficult to comply.
Lack of proper training – The public and companies and businesses in the food industry lack proper training regarding the new rules and how to comply.
For FSMA implementation to be effective, the challenges need to be addressed accordingly. Each one of us has a role to play in this as we both benefit from it. even if you are a consumer, you can make a difference by ensuring that you use products from certified suppliers.