How will the FDA’s new rules under FSMA impact 3PLs?

Posted by Harriet Mills on Oct 8, 2015 8:41:40 AM

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). If you’re in the food service or creation industries, you’ve heard about the FDA’s preventive control plan aimed at reducing the risk of foodborne illness while increasing the safety of the U.S. food supply.

But if you’re in the logistics industry, you may know very little about the FSMA. This blog is designed to provide a brief overview of the FSMA and answer the most important question: what does it mean for shippers like you?

An overview of the FSMA

The FSMA, which was signed into law by President Obama, aims to arm the FDA with more power to protect the general population from food-related illnesses. Research shows that roughly 48 million people contract a foodborne disease each year, and that equates to roughly 1 in every 6 Americans. It is also estimated that more than 120,000 people are hospitalized each year and that foodborne illnesses claim more than 3,000 Americans annually.

The FSMA empowers the FDA to take a more proactive approach in the prevention of foodborne illness instead of operating by its more traditional reactive role. Under the FSMA, the FDA has more power to hold food imports or order companies to enact food recalls. It has also been directed to build a food-related safety system focusing on both human and animal food and partners with authorities at the federal and local levels.

How does the FSMA apply to the logistics industry?

For professionals in the shipping industry it is a matter of sustainable visibility. The FSMA now requires the FDA to create the regulations that were approved under the 2005 Sanitary Transportation Act. The FDA is also required to issue regulations for sanitary practices, and these regulations must be followed by all shippers, carriers and receivers. The deadline for meeting these regulations is March 31, 2016.

While the final language hasn’t yet been determined, logistics professionals can expect the changes will apply to both frozen and ambient food. Logistics professionals can also expect additional regulations relating to traceability and sanitation, as well as increased temperature monitoring. To stay up to date on the latest happenings following the updated FSMA, check back for updates in this blog.

How do you think FSMA will impact your business?

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