The FSMA deadlines are coming, bringing with them perhaps the biggest changes to food safety laws in 70 years. For many companies, the deadlines to meet these new regulations are coming as early as March 2017. Below, we’ve outlined some ways you can quickly prepare for these deadlines and get a solid head start on complete FSMA compliance.
Know your responsibilities
The first step, before you take any other action, is to know exactly what you are responsible for when it comes to food safety. Depending on the issue, the supplier, purchaser, or transporter may hold primary responsibility for enforcing the regulations. Review the act here and make sure you have a good understanding of what specific changes your company will need to make.
Communicate with everyone involved
Even if you don’t hold primary responsibility for a given regulation, you’ll still want to be up to date on it. Communicate actively with your whole supply chain to ensure they’re making the changes they need to as well—in fact, this kind of delegation can also save you a lot of time.
One of the biggest changes the act makes is that it allows the FDA much greater access to your company’s documents—so you definitely need to have those documents ready in the first place. You may find you are already keeping some of the regulations perfectly, but that doesn’t mean much if you’re not also keeping a clear record of what’s happening.
Consider hiring contractors
You don’t necessarily have to do all the work alone. If you are in need of changes fast, consider hiring someone with expertise to get you started by developing new receiving procedures or conducting a formal hazard analysis.
Invest in the right technology
Food safety magazine recently said, “Investing in quality software that sufficiently monitors products throughout the entire production process… is imperative for future compliance with FSMA. Cloud-based technology now exists to help food manufacturers meet FSMA requirements while working to prevent foodborne outbreaks and quickly limit outbreaks when they do occur.” At Cargo Data, we personally recommend using the right temperature recording device. Our Lightning NFC system regularly monitors temperatures and lets you easily upload them to the cloud. There they are safely stored in our archives, where they can be reviewed at any time.
We hope these suggestions have been helpful. For more information and advice on FSMA compliance, feel free to reach out to us. Give us a call at (800) 338-8134 and we’ll schedule a consultation.