Food safety, traceability and sustainability blog

fsma compliance

Food Safety Modernization Act / Foreign Supplier Verification Program

New FSMA Compliance Dates Roll Out July 2019 - Are You Prepared?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is arguably the most important law in the food industry today, and will probably remain so until 2024 when the final set of regulations take full effect. In the coming years, however, different aspects of the rule will continue to roll out for food businesses of all sizes.

In July 2019, two sets of rules will roll out for two groups of businesses: the  Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule for large establishments and the foreign supplier verification program rule (FSVP) for importers whose international suppliers are small and very small businesses. If your business is subject to any of these rules, you need to be on the right side of the law as the compliance dates approach.

The Intentional Adulteration (IA) Rule

The IA rule is intended to mitigate hazards that may be intentionally introduced into foods to cause wide-spread public health harm; this includes acts of terrorism. The FDA acknowledges that such acts, while not likely to occur, can cause significant damage if they do. In line with the prevention-focused approach of FSMA, food facilities of all sizes, with some exceptions, are required to identify potential vulnerabilities, then develop and implement defense plans to prevent such acts.

Once the rule takes effect, you can expect requests for your food defense plan during inspections. The earliest compliance date of July 26, 2019, is for large businesses covered by the IA rule. The FDA has released draft guidance that includes exemptions, vulnerability assessment steps, and more.

If your business is subject to the IA rule, the key action step is to develop a food defense plan. Senior Advisor for Intentional Adulteration with the Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff, Ryan Newkirk, outlined the five components of the food defense plan:

  1. Vulnerability assessment
  2. Mitigation strategies to address identified vulnerabilities
  3. A system for food defense monitoring, corrective action, and verification
  4. Recordkeeping
  5. Personnel training

FSVP for Small and Very Small Businesses

The Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) applies to entities which import food into the United States. The rule requires that all products must be tested to ensure they meet US food production standards.

In a previous blog, we covered the five key facts of the foreign supplier verification program, which are:

  • Imported foods must meet the produce safety requirements, food allergen labeling requirements and cannot be adulterated.
  • The burden of proof rests with the importer, who is guilty until proven innocent. In other words, the FDA assumes your imported products do not meet the standards until you provide evidence of qualifying tests and supplier documents.
  • The FDA can stop an import if you violate FSVP.
  • You must reassess your FSVP every three years.

You are required to comply with the FSVP by July 29, 2019, if you import food and animal products from any of the following four groups of foreign suppliers:

  • A small business subject to the Produce Safety Rule;
  • A small business subject to the Produce Safety Rule and eligible for a Qualified Exemption under the Produce Safety Rule;
  • A very small business subject to the sprout requirements of the Produce Safety Rule;
  • A very small business that is a farm producing sprouts and eligible for a Qualified Exemption under the Produce Safety Rule.

Be Prepared

These rules may look like a lot, especially for small businesses. However, by understanding which laws apply to your business, you have already taken the first step towards compliance. As new regulations take effect, you should revisit your food safety documents to ensure they reflect the latest additions. The FDA has created a handy document that shows all compliance dates, up to 2024, at a glance.

Adopt the Right Technology

As regulatory requirements increase, depending on paper-based or disjointed systems will only put your business under undue pressure.  With FoodLogiQ Connect's Manage + Monitor software, you gain full visibility into your supply chain, making it easier to manage supplier documents and stay on the right side of the law. To learn more about how FoodLogiQ can help your food safety plans, request a demo.


Posted by Katy Jones on Jun 24, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Recall Readiness E-book

Food Safety & Traceability Software Buyer's Guide

New Call-to-action

Traceability Consumer Survey

New Call-to-action