FDA Releases Compliance Guide for Small Businesses under FSMA Intentional Adulteration Rule (Food defense)

Small Entity Compliance Guides (SECGs) are designed to help small businesses meet federal standards. They are among the resources that the FDA is providing to support compliance with the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) standards.

The FDA announced today the availability of an SECG to help small businesses comply with the Final Rule on Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration (or Intentional Adulteration Rule), mandated by FSMA.

The SECG was prepared in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act. It provides nonbinding recommendations on such topics as developing a food defense plan and records management.

The compliance date for small businesses under the Intentional Adulteration Rule is July 27, 2020. Very small businesses are exempt from the rule, except for a documentation requirement described in the SECG, which has a compliance date of July 26, 2021.

Here you can find also an FDA fact sheet on the final rule on food defense.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) final rule is aimed at preventing intentional adulteration from acts intended to cause wide-scale harm to public health, including acts of terrorism targeting the food supply. Such acts, while not likely to occur, could cause illness, death, economic disruption of the food supply absent mitigation strategies.

Rather than targeting specific foods or hazards, this rule requires mitigation (risk-reducing) strategies for processes in certain registered food facilities.

The proposed rule was issued in December 2013. The changes in the final rule are largely designed to provide either more information, where stakeholders requested it, or greater flexibility for food facilities in determining how they will assess their facilities, implement mitigation strategies, and ensure that the mitigation strategies are working as intended.

In developing the rule, FDA interacted with the intelligence community and considered vulnerability assessments conducted in collaboration with the food industry.
While acts of intentional adulteration may many other forms, including acts of disgruntled employees or economically motivated adulteration, the goal of this rule is to prevent acts intended to cause wide-scale harm. Economic adulteration, on the contrary,  is addressed in the final preventive controls rules for human and animal foods.

We already treated food defense topic in a previous post regarding EU situation.

Seminar on FDA requirements for import and food defense

Together with my friend and partner at Iseven Servizi, Franco Aquilano, on 17th April 2014, in Milan (near the beautiful Duomo), I will teach in a course dedicated to FDA general requirements for import foodstuffs in USA – after the Bioterrorism Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act – and on food defense systems.

While I will cover the first argument, together with some insights about the food recall system in USA and crisis management strategies, Franco will explain the requirements of a food defense system, also in light of some private standards (BRC, IFS).

Food defense is putting measures in place that reduce the chances of the food supply from becoming intentionally contaminated using a variety of chemicals, biological agents or other harmful substances by people who want to do us harm. These agents could include materials that are not naturally-occurring or substances not routinely tested for in food products. A terrorist’s goal might be to kill people, disrupt our economy, or ruin your business. Intentional acts generally occur infrequently, can be difficult to detect, and are hard to predict.

The course is organized by Certiquality, certification body, accredited to provide enterprises with certification services covering quality, environmental and safety management systems, as well as product certification.

You can see the program, download the brochure and book your place, until April 9th, here. Language of the course: Italian.

In case you are late for this date, we will propose again the course after the Summer and is also available on demand for groups. Please be in touch with us or Certiquality for any further info.