Understanding the 7 Major Rules of FSMA

fsma rules food safety modernization act fda

When we buy groceries, we are always looking for safe, high-quality food products from farms and distributors.

This is the reason the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) exists.

There are seven FSMA rules that help implement safety prevention food practices by people that grow it, process it, transport, and store it. Here are the main food safety rules.


1. Safe Standards for Fruits and Veggies

This rule applies to covered farms to make sure that all fruits and vegetables are following the FSMA plan to at least the minimum standards to grow and harvest produce.

The rule also monitors requirements for hygiene, clean equipment, tools, and buildings.


2. Mitigation Strategies Against Intentional Adulteration

This requires facilities that have to register with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to write a food defense plan.

The food defense plan has to have an analysis of any vulnerabilities and the procedures followed to monitor the food, along with the actions taken to fix any vulnerabilities.


3. Preventative Controls

This is where a food facility has to have a food safety plan that includes an analysis of hazards and preventative controls to minimize any hazards that are identified.

Another part of this rule is for these food facilities to have a recall plan in place. 


4. Sanitary Transportation

This is to help keep food safe from any contamination during transportation. It was put in place to make sure that the proper cleaning is done in between loads and that food is refrigerated properly. 

The carriers have to be trained properly to carry out sanitary transportation practices.


5. Third-Party Certifications

This is the requirement for recognition by the FDA. It is also the requirement for third-party companies seeking accreditation.

Those that are accredited can conduct food safety audits and can certify that food facilities are meeting the FDA food safety requirements.


6. FSVP (Foreign Supplier Verification Program)

This is a rule that applies to importers of food into the United States. The purpose of the FSVP rule is to make sure the food being imported meets the safety standards set by the United States. 

An importer is the U.S. owner or consignee of the food, the U.S. agency or representative of the foreign owner, or consignee when the food is entering the U.S.


7. VQIP (Voluntary Qualified Importer Program) 

This is a voluntary program to receive expedited review and import entry into the United States.

Importers that meet the eligibility criteria pay a fee and can import their products into the United States faster.


What Are Your Thoughts on the FSMA Rules?

Now that you are aware of the FSMA rules, you can have a little more peace of mind that the FSMA is helping the global food chain.

If you are part of the food industry, make sure you are aware of the Food Safety Modernization Act requirements that apply to your business to ensure that you follow the FDA requirements.

Did you find our article on food safety helpful? Please bookmark our business section to never miss our latest articles on food service tips and restaurant business insights.

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