FDA shares its strategy for FSMA training.

  • Implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is well underway.  FDA has finalized two major rules to implement hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls (HARPC) for human and animal food, and final rules to implement the produce safety standards, foreign supplier verification program (FSVP), and third-party accreditation program are expected at the end of this month.  To ensure compliance with all FSMA requirements, food industry employees must be appropriately trained.
  • FDA has released its FSMA Training Strategy, indicating the Agency’s plan to facilitate industry training and thus promote effective FSMA implementation.  The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA), Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA), and Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA) — which include federal and state agency officials, food industry members, and academics — are developing training programs to help the industry understand HARPC requirements and the forthcoming produce safety standards.  FDA also plans to issue guidance detailing the core criteria, learning objectives, and elements recommended for FSMA training programs.  The Agency is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to coordinate training programs and opportunities for operators of farms, small food processors, and small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers.
  • It likely will take significant time and coordination before FDA’s FSMA Training Strategy is up and running.  Nevertheless, the strategy indicates the Agency’s understanding that partnerships and collaboration are essential to facilitate the broad array of training programs that will be needed to implement FSMA.