FSMA is more focused on prevention than reaction to food safety issues, Dr. Acheson said, pointing out that it virtually mandates companies use a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program to protect their products from unintentional as well as intentional hazards.
Leon Bruner, DVM, PhD, senior vice-president for scientific and regulatory affairs and chief science officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said FSMA gives enhanced enforcement powers to FDA, which in turn could lead to significant fees for food manufacturers.
Greg Flickinger, vice-president of manufacturing and corporate engineering, Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., Charlotte, NC, talked about developing a food safety culture at manufacturing plants. He discussed how companies must have negative consequences if employees do not follow through with food safety initiatives.
Mr. Flickinger said companies must provide knowledge to their employees through education and training. “If you create a desire, people will come asking for the information,” he added.
FDA currently is writing regulations as part of the law, and a final rule on the foreign supplier verification program is expected in January. The agency also is in the process of setting up pilot programs for inspections, which are to occur more often at high-risk facility than those deemed low-risk.