FDA Releases Revised Food Safety Standards
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued revised food safety standards, known as the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS), for state regulatory programs that oversee food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold foods. The goal of the MFRPS is to implement a nationally integrated, risk-based, food safety system focused on protecting public health by establishing a uniform basis for measuring and improving the performance, intervention and response activities of manufactured food regulatory programs in the United States. Forty-one states are currently enrolled in the MFRPS.
The MFRPS incorporate 10 standards intended to protect against foodborne illness and injury:
- Regulatory Foundation
- Training Program
- Inspection Program
- Inspection Audit Program
- Food-Related Illness, Outbreaks and Hazards Response
- Compliance and Enforcement Program
- Industry and Community Relations
- Program Resources
- Program Assessment
- Laboratory Support
Among the more significant changes to these standards, the Inspection Procedure has been updated to require verification that a manufactured food firm has a written food safety plan incorporating a written hazard analysis along with controls relating to allergens, sanitation and the supply chain. As another example, the Food-Related Illness, Outbreak and Hazards Response has been clarified by revising the definitions of "Traceback" and "Traceforward" to trace the source of food-related illness.
"Traceback begins at the end of the supply chain at the point of purchase or point of service (e.g., grocery stores and restaurants) and follows the food product back through the points of distributing, processing and production to determine the source of the product and its ingredients." "Traceforward follows the movement of a food in the opposite direction, from the source (e.g., a farm or manufacturer) forward to the retail shelf, to determine the scope of a potential recall and the impact of the contaminated product on the public health."
For more information on how the revised standards might specifically impact your organization, contact the author or the appropriate state contact available through the FDA Office of Partnerships.