Food facilities across the U.S. are in a race with time. In less than a month, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will become the law of the land, and you need to ensure your business is amply prepared. The deadline is set for September 15th. By then you’ll need to comply with all of the new regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The new regulations focus more on prevention in food safety
One of the key differentiators with the new regulations is the greater emphasis being placed on preventative frameworks. In the past, expectations pertained more toward reacting to harm and having policies in place to mitigate risks. Now, the FDA is expecting food facilities to work on active prevention strategies that will require food industry workers to identify risks within their company and counter those risks before they become a problem.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is of key concern
The new FDA regulations are more focused on enforcing HACCP than before. HACCP forms the very fabric of preventative controls, requiring businesses to develop and implement prerequisite programs, current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and the meticulous analysis and documentation of all potential problems or hazards outlined within the company. However, with the new set of regulations, there will be a shift from simply focusing on HACCP to also focusing on Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC), so as to place greater emphasis on risk-based prevention than before.
What changes are required for food facilities?
While most food facilities likely already have risk prevention policies in place, there is now a greater requirement for maintaining written records of all preventative control plans. Food facilities must start by identifying every risk factor within their operation. Determine every hazard that exists within food preparation, food processing, and food distribution, and make written documents planning for strategic risk-prevention strategies pertaining to each hazard. Each of these written plans must contain a step-by-step plan of preventative risk mitigation procedures, as well as a description of the monitored controls and the plans for ensuring each control is continually monitored successfully.
How to ensure compliance and employee commitment
Perhaps the greatest challenge in the food industry isn’t developing safety and compliance procedures, but ensuring those procedures are adopted across the organization and all employees are held accountable. With a Corrective and Preventative Action Plan (CAPA) from NexTec, you can simplify compliance, while making it easier for all employees to remain on top of all company-wide procedures.
A CAPA plan will allow you to automate many compliance-related tasks, thus reducing your workload, while ensuring no detail is overlooked. Not only will a CAPA plan improve the efficiency and accuracy of compliance, but also it will help each employee stay on track with all company policies, so compliance can be adopted at every level of your organization. Contact us today to learn more about FSMA, HACCP and NexTec’s CAPA plans.