ABA commended Mike Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at FDA, on his outreach and open communication as the first FMSA rule is slated for the Federal Register. ABA’s Lee Sanders, as co-chair of the Food & Beverage Industry Alliance, led an industry sector meeting with FDA staff discussing Preventive Controls for Human Food & Animal Feed Rules, Nutrition Facts Labeling, and the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) process. FDA and industry alike will continue striving for an open and collaborative process as the compliance date for the Preventive Controls for Human Foods rule approaches in August 2016. Training of the FDA district and state inspection staff will be key as the food industry moves into the next phase of FSMA implementation and funding for this process.
The new Preventive Controls rule will require bakers to have a written food safety plan that includes:
- A hazard analysis;
- Preventive controls to minimize and eliminate the hazards;
- Corrective action; and
- Verification to ensure preventive controls are in place and working
FDA is working on a series of guidance documents to assist the food industry including:
- Hazard analysis and preventive controls;
- Environmental monitoring;
- Food allergen controls;
- Validation of process controls; and
- Small Entity Compliance Guide
Members are encouraged to attend ABA’s Fall Policy Conference, October 20-22 where the baking industry will be joined by Jenny Scott, Senior Advisor, FDA CFSAN Office of Food Safety and Dr. David Acheson, TAG to discuss this rule and its implementation. FDA’s most recent FSMA information is available online.
FDA updated the food industry sector on its reform progress and timeline related to Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). FDA is working towards issuing a final GRAS rule in August 2016. FDA indicated that it is also working on GRAS guidance, however from the interactive discussion it appears that the document is not moving quickly due to available resources.
Nutrition Facts Labeling
Dr. Susan Mayne, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) noted that the final rules for the nutrition facts panel labeling revision final rules are still targeted for March 2016 as published in the administrative regulatory agenda. Dr. Mayne said that the Agency will release the raw data from its consumer surveys that explored added sugar labeling; footnote; and formatting and had merged the two dockets on the consumer research and supplemental proposal on added sugar labeling. She also noted that they Agency does not have any additional consumer research in the pipeline. She acknowledged many requests for an extension of the added sugar labeling and did not rule out that more time would be given to comment to the Agency.
Dr. Mayne also noted that the long awaited menu labeling guidance was released on Friday, September 11 and the Agency is anxious to receive feedback to make the guidance more useful. http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/ucm461934.htm She indicated that vending guidance would be coming soon.