I’m really glad you’re here at the beginning of a journey that is going to take us to a clear, practical understanding of the FDA’s NEW Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) launched in the USA. This year I’ve set myself the task of finding out everything there is to know about it so I’d like to share my learnings with you as I go.
If you’ve arrived at this page through a search on Google, I’d better tell you a bit about myself and why you should come on this learning journey with me…
I’ve worked in the food industry since leaving university , working my way through new product development roles and into technical and compliance. During this time I found out that I actually love risk assessment (I really do, I’m not lying!) and especially food safety hazard analysis (known commonly as HACCP in the UK). Since then I’ve specialised in HACCP and have developed new risk assessment methods for threats and errors, which resulted in me publishing books on the subject with my co-author Adele Adams.
So, with HACCP and hazard analysis risk assessment being my passion, when I heard that the FDA had a new requirement as part of the FSMA of ‘hazard analysis and risk based preventive controls’ I was keen to find out more. The more I’ve read about the new Act, the more interested in this new approach I’ve become.
In the UK all food processors no matter what they make or how big or small they are have to have a HACCP plan. Their HACCP also has to be developed for the individual site, with no government guidance at all. Although we follow Codex principles, the way they are applied to the USA is very different. The retailers in the UK also have very strict standards so this has driven food processors to have very detailed procedures and recording systems. I’d like to share my knowledge and experience of this with processors in the USA, as I think it’ll help you comply with FSMA.
A quick search on Google made me realise that there’s not much help out there for the processors in America with regard to how they should actually apply the new Act. There’s lots of websites that have regurgitated the information provided by the FDA, but none (I literally couldn’t find one!) that explains in practical terms what you actually do. That’s when I realised that I could use my interest in the FSMA to help people and share my learnings in the only way I know how using a pragmatic, methodical and practical approach that in my experience always works best!
So, this blog post is my introduction to ‘Your FSMA Companion’, which I will publish every fortnight as I go through the detail of the act and how I think it should be practically applied. I really want this to be an interactive forum, every post will have a reply section (like this one) and I really want to hear your opinions, feedback and what you’re working on to comply with FSMA. Where ever possible I’ll also set you a task to do, which will hopefully take you one step closer to FSMA compliance!
Here’s what I want you to do today – I’d really like to know what you want to know about FSMA. Where would you like me to start? There’s a lot to get through, so I want to be as effective as possible and tackle the things you really need now, first…
What confuses you the most?
What are you struggling with?
What questions do you have?
Where are you on your journey of complying with FSMA?
Please let me know in the reply box below and I will send you a reply or direct you to the areas I’ve covered in ‘Your FSMA Companion’ articles.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to us learning together, Kassy.
p.s please accept my apologies for my UK ‘speak’. I’d really like to learn the American lingo – would you do me a favor (we spell it ‘favour’ in the UK so you can see I’m trying) and point out where I go wrong? 😀