Food SafetyNews

How is your preparation for FSMA going?

By April 2, 2016 No Comments

How is your preparation for FSMA going?

FSMA as a topic is making its way to almost every client discussion we have these days. Everyone is at a different point with preparation and the same is true for us. Teri has begun her 9 week training on Preventative Controls through Washington State University Extension and I will take a 3 day intensive course through Northwest Food Processors Association in June.

So what is FSMA? FSMA is the Food Safety and Modernization Act which was signed into law in 2011 and the regulation compliance requirements begin this year, 2016, in September. It intends to be the next step towards prevention within our federal food safety regulation. The goals of FSMA are to focus efforts on prevention of problems and implementing food safety controls throughout the supply chain.

Several people have done a great job summarizing the regulations, compliance timelines, and topics. Rather than attempt collating all of the details of the regulations, we’ve gathered together a few websites we found helpful when researching and monitoring FSMA. Below are our collection of helpful links: is a good resource for up to date information and they offer a series of different trainings on the FSMA by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable food safety experts on the west coast. If you weren’t aware, the FDA will require completion of specialized training for processors of human food and animal feed/pet food. Their next 3 day Preventative Control Qualified Individuals course begins May 23. gives a clear, concise overview on the regulation and timing. The table below is handy summary of compliance dates from the article.



Follow this link for the full article at is the complete source for complete rulings and history of the regulations. The frequently asked questions section is helpful and you can see past webinars. has some interesting information. For those of you using SQF standards, here’s a matrix comparing SQF and FSMA from the SQFI website.

SQF Level 2        FDA Preventive Control Food Safety Plan (FSMA) FDA GMPs (117 subpart B)
Overarching policy statement Yes No No
Written Plan Yes Yes No
Experienced individual in charge Yes Yes No
Trained Staff Yes Yes* Yes
Prerequisite Programs Yes No Yes
Raw material/ incoming   product safety assurance Yes No No
Supplier Verification Yes Yes, in specific cases** No
Allergen Management Yes Yes Yes
Validation of Controls Yes Yes No
Finished product testing No Yes, in specific cases** No
Sanitation Control Yes Yes Yes
Environmental monitoring Yes Yes, in specific cases** No
Corrective Actions Yes Yes No
Traceability Yes No[1] No
Recall Yes Yes No
Records Retention Yes Yes No
Food Defense Yes No2 No
Internal Audit Yes No3 No


For more information on SQF or FSMA, check out their “Are you FSMA ready?” page on their website:


If you find other sites to be helpful, please let us know. We are eager to see how the regulation roles out onto shop floors; we expect lots of learnings on all sides.

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