The Food Safety Modernization Act is a group of regulations signed into law in 2011. The act is meant to apply the best available science and good common sense to prevent the problems in food production, storage and transportation that can make people sick.
Yes, for the most part it is. Still, one in 6 Americans become sick,128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases (CDC). The intention of this law is to prevent foodborne illness before it happens.
What will the FDA be looking for?
The FDA puts it rather bluntly. They mention bacterial or chemical contamination caused by:
- Unsanitary Conditions
What does this mean for pallets?
FSMA is broken down into 7 main sections, but for pallet use, it gets pretty simple:
- Preventive controls for human food
- Preventive controls for animal food
- Produce safety
- Sanitary transportation
Who will the FDA be inspecting?
Considering that pallets may well be the single most ubiquitous item in the food supply chain, it is not an overstatement to say that the FDA will be looking at YOUR pallets and how they will or will not contribute to your efforts to comply with the FSMA. To comply, your pallets must be:
- Easy to keep clean
- In good repair
How should I prepare?
Have a plan. The FDA man will be going where no FDA man has gone before. Even if you have never seen an FDA uniform, be prepared. This act has teeth and congress has given the FDA the full funding they will need to use them. Whether you are a processor, shipper, carrier or receiver of food products, ask a pallet professional today about solutions available to keep you in compliance - before an inspection.
Still not sure if you're ready for FSMA? Post your questions or concerns here, give me a call and watch for my future posts on some of the important details of the FSMA that will be rolled out in the months ahead.
Post by: Hartson Poland, Business Development - Plastic
Use of FDA Inspector photo is made available by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.