The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has notified FDA that Perry Johnson Registrars Food Safety Inc. (Troy, MI) has become the first certification body to be accredited under FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program for four program scopes. They include Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, Juice HACCP and Seafood HACCP.
Accredited Third-Party Certification is a voluntary program in which FDA recognizes “accreditation bodies” that will have the responsibility of accrediting third-party “certification bodies.” The certification bodies will conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign food facilities. For a list of recognized accreditation bodies, visit: Accredited Third-Party Certification Program: Public Registry of Recognized Accreditation Bodies.
The accreditation grants Perry Johnson Registrars the authority to conduct food safety audits and issue food and facility certifications.
Certifications issued by CBs accredited through FDA’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program can be used by importers to establish eligibility for participation in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), and in certain circumstances FDA can require that imported products be certified before entering the US.
Part of FSMA
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification was finalized in November 2015. The rule establishes a voluntary program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies, also known as third-party auditors, to conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign entities and the foods for humans and animals they produce. These requirements are intended to help ensure the competence and independence of the accreditation bodies and third-party certification bodies participating in the program.
FSMA specifies two uses for certifications under this program:
- Certifications may be used by importers to help establish eligibility for participation in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), which offers expedited review entry of food.
- To prevent potentially harmful food from reaching U.S. consumers, the FDA can also require in specific circumstances that a food offered for import be accompanied by a certification from an accredited third-party certification body.
The rule establishes the framework, procedures and requirements for accreditation bodies seeking recognition by FDA, as well as requirements for third-party certification bodies seeking accreditation. For more in-depth information, visit FDA’s “FSMA Final Rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification.”