Food Safety

FSMA will Drive FDA to Form Partnerships


While food safety has been viewed as a non-competitive practice in the food industry, FDA’s limited funding will inevitably cause it to partner with other groups to satisfy the mandates of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to David Acheson in a recent Leavitt Partners blog. How FDA partners with third parties will vary depending on geographical location.

In basic terms, international partners will consist of foreign and third-party auditors. In the US, partners will include other Federal, state and local agencies, says Acheson.

“Domestically, FDA has historically leveraged a partnership with the states to reduce its workload, and you can expect this to continue and, most likely grow,” says Acheson. One program that exemplifies this idea is the state cooperative program for Grade A dairy facilities. With this program, state inspectors visit dairies—not the FDA. While this program works for dairies, it will present some challenges for other food categories, especially in creating a set of uniform standards and training, according to Acheson.

While FDA has traditionally not made much use of other Federal agencies for sharing inspection responsibilities, funding issues and FSMA will drive Federal partnerships, for example, the Agricultural Marketing Services. AMS inspectors already have a presence on farms, and the AMS can be expected to step up to the plate and become more involved with product standards, especially in produce, says Acheson.

The regulation allowing third-party auditors to be accredited by FDA to issue food import certifications is a new provision established by FSMA. The use of third-party auditors is not new, and Acheson notes that adherence to international standards like GFSI, BRC, SQF and FSSC2200 will increase the need for third-party auditors.

Foreign governments can also play a role in ensuring food safety, but according to Acheson, “while it is clearly desirable to both shift the burden and share the cost of inspections with foreign governments, FDA will not find this to be easy.” Determining which governments have comparable systems will be key to understanding what can be expected from these governments.

Dr. David Acheson serves as the managing director of the food and import safety practice at Leavitt Partners. Prior to joining Leavitt Partners, Acheson served as associate commissioner of foods at FDA.

To read the entire blog by Acheson, visit the Leavitt Partners blog site.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.