Many stakeholders across the food industry appear to be confused about implementation deadlines surrounding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to a recent study from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Compiled from 64 interviews with manufacturing professionals, the report details food manufacturers’ perceptions of FSMA, and how equipment manufacturers can best help them respond to the upcoming regulations.
“Since 2011, FSMA has been a source of anticipation and anxiety for many food and beverage manufacturers," said Paula Feldman, director, Business Intelligence, PMMI. "The legislation can impact companies differently depending on their size and vertical market. Our aim with this study was to shed light on industry concerns and advise manufacturers on ways they can ensure compliance.”
The study identifies the industries most affected by the anticipated rules. Fresh produce manufacturers are expected to see the greatest impact. Producers of baby food, infant formula and nutraceuticals will see little impact as they have already been subject to rigorous standards for preventative controls, traceability and sanitary equipment design. Industries overseen by the US Department of Agriculture are less likely to be impacted and juice, low-acid canned foods and seafood manufacturers are exempt.
The report also expands on ways that manufacturers affected by FSMA can make strides towards compliance—whether they have one, two, three or four years to do so. These steps include reducing liability with greater traceability capabilities, evaluating equipment design for improved sanitary construction and easy cleaning, and training operators thoroughly and often.