At the end of July, FDA published two proposed rules required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The rules focus on the foreign supplier verification program (FSVP) and accreditation of third-party auditors. The proposed rule on FSVP establishes a risk-based approach to analyzing foreign food products. It places emphasis on areas where problems are most likely to be found and requires verification that foreign suppliers and importers are exercising adequate quality control.
The proposed accreditation rule would set accreditation standards of third-party auditors and establish certification units to carry out food safety audits of foreign food suppliers, including registered foreign food facilities. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) calls both actions “another step forward” toward FSMA implementation.
“FSMA ensures that prevention is the cornerstone of our nation’s food safety strategy and today’s proposed rules embody that same principle,” according to a GMA statement. “These proposed rules will place new and enhanced requirements on foreign suppliers and the accreditation of third-party auditors that will help further protect the safety of food imported into the US.”