December 20, 2013
Authored by: Brandon Neuschafer
FDA published a draft rule today designed to require the largest food businesses in the United States to take steps to address vulnerabilities in their operations to prevent the intentional adulteration of food – “food terrorism,” in other words. The proposed rule will generally apply to both domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food and are required to register as a food facility. Exempted from the rule are small businesses (less than $10 million in annual food sales), farms, food for animals, certain food holding facilities, and certain packing or labeling facilities. As explained by FDA:
Under the proposed rule, a food facility would be required to have a written food defense plan that addresses significant vulnerabilities in its food production process. Facilities then would have to identify and implement strategies to address these vulnerabilities, establish monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, ensure that personnel assigned to the vulnerable areas receive appropriate training and maintain certain records.
FDA has released a copy of the draft rule and a factsheet, which can be found here. Comments are currently due by March 31, 2014.