Right before the new year began, President Obama signed a piece of legislation that will ultimately change the way many food companies do business in the states and internationally. This is the first time in nearly 70 years that changes have been made to the food system. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 will require all food business to establish food safety plans that are in accordance with the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HAACP) system and comply with certification standards. This new law will also allow for the FDA to have more authority to issue direct recalls and increases in the frequency of inspections.
How imported food products will be affected by this new law:
- Importers must confirm the safety of foreign suppliers and imported food. Those importers who do not have means of verifying the safety of the food products will be prohibited from importing the food products.
- The FDA has the authority to require certification of safety for high-risked imports. The FDA also has the right to deny entry of food products that lack certification or that are from a foreign country who has refused United States inspection.
- Prior notices filed with the FDA for imported food products must include the name of any country that refused entry of the food.
In addition to these changes, the new law will add 4,000 new inspectors with expanded authority for inspecting records and food facilities. It will also give the FDA new enforcement powers that will facilitate the agency’s ability to shut down facilities that do not abide by the new law through detention and suspension of registration.
Due to the increased security and enforcement of the new laws, many companies who import goods from overseas may have to plan well ahead in order to prevent any major complications and to recieve their food products in time. Remember to pick trust worthy shippers with plenty of experience.
For more information on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, please visit:http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm237934.htm