The Food Safety Modernization Act: Best Practices for Manufacturers to Prepare for Regulatory Changes
Holmdel, NJ Jan 26, 2011 – On Jan. 4, 2011, President Obama signed into law one of the most comprehensive changes to U.S. food safety since the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938. The Food Safety Modernization Act gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and related government agencies the authority to develop and enforce more stringent standards and more severe penalties for food manufacturers not in compliance with new regulations.
Across the industry, organizations can expect the upcoming changes to food safety standards to result in more frequent on-site audits and more rigorous testing requirements for food manufacturers; expanded authority for the FDA to initiate product recalls; additional records required in safety data collection; and stronger industry-wide safety standards.
Sparta Systems’ team of quality experts advises food manufacturers to proactively evaluate their quality and compliance processes in preparation for upcoming changes. The following are best practices for ensuring the safety of products delivered to consumers and for responding to quality incidents in a timely fashion:
• Monitor critical processes, identify gaps and improve regulatory compliance with audit management. While regulatory compliance questions are being raised in light of recent food safety headlines, manufacturers should always implement proactive measures to collect data resulting from supply quality incidents, take the necessary steps to investigate these incidents and report all critical data to regulators.
• Safeguard supply quality with enterprise-wide supplier quality management tools. As food manufacturers source ingredients from more suppliers and locations around the globe, manufacturers need to identify and manage risks across the supply chain to protect both company stakeholders and, more importantly, consumers.
• Manage, track and report on nonconformances, investigations, complaints and other processes in food manufacturing operations. Food and beverage manufacturers need a holistic and centralized system in place to quickly respond to supply quality issues and limit the impact of incidents that can lead to a brand-damaging recall.
Overall, the impending changes introduced by the Food Safety Modernization Act necessitate more effective quality processes in food manufacturers’ operations. The most successful businesses will critically examine the advanced technologies available in the marketplace that can help food manufacturers go above and beyond today’s governmental guidelines and prepare for tomorrow’s regulatory changes.
About Sparta Systems
Sparta Systems, Inc. is the industry leader for global quality and compliance management systems. Its TrackWise product is a web-based software application used by quality, manufacturing, and regulatory affairs professionals to manage quality and compliance issues across the enterprise. The company has more than 14 years of experience and an extensive customer base in the life sciences and other highly regulated industries. Sparta Systems offers its customers a complete solution for global quality management needs, including the onsite support required throughout the project lifecycle. More information about Sparta Systems and TrackWise® can be found at www.spartasystems.com.