FSMA Final Rule for Animal Food: What Dogs Eat in a Dog Eat Dog World

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released the Final Rule under the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) relating to Preventative Control for Animal Food – and the new rules mean that food companies have to ensure compliance and move swiftly to do so. Compliance dates for some businesses begin in September 2016, which means that in this competitive industry, companies have already started to move towards compliance to minimize compliance problems.

The FSMA has prevention as a cornerstone – the idea being that keeping standards and compliance requirements high will force companies to account for the risk of possible food safety failures and minimize the possibility as well the harm caused. Creating such a food safety system based on prevention is a work in progress, and the FSMA rules are also a part of the regulatory structure in question. Under these regulations, food facilities are required to implement a written preventive controls plan. These plans involve evaluation of possible hazards, specifying preventive steps and controls, indicating how these possible situations will be monitored, maintaining records of the monitoring, and specifying remedial actions in the instance of such an occasion arising.

To ensure compliance with these new rules, FDA site visits and monitoring will be in place – and not being compliant with these rules will be a major problem. FDA fines, the possibility of civil litigation, and the likelihood of loss of customer face will cause any company falling afoul of these rules a lot of trouble. In matters relating to health and food safety, goodwill with customers is incredibly important. Especially when it comes to the feeding of the pets and loved animals of people, customers would find news of even minor violations to be a major red flag – this would mean that even if the fines and legal costs could be squared off, the loss in business would still be too high a cost.

This is the best time to act – early, so that by the time September comes around you are already prepared and ready at minimal cost. To understand what your compliance requirements are and ensuring that the transition is seamless and optimized for efficiency and productivity, you need expert guidance to understand the regulations and formulate a plan to track compliance. Expert advice from this live webinar “FSMA Preventative Controls for Animal Food Final Rule…” on Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 presented by Shawn K. Stevens, food safety lawyer and founding member of Food Industry Counsel LLC, the only law firm in the nation that represents the food industry exclusively.

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