FDA Plans To Release New Food Safety Rules Jan. 4

A 60-day comment period on the four proposed rules is expected.

Published on: Jan 3, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration is scheduled on Jan. 4 to publish proposed regulations to implement the cornerstone of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the National Grain and Feed Association found out.

FDA is planning to issue four separate sets of proposed regulations on the one-year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the massive food/feed safety legislation into law. Two of those sets of proposed rules will pertain to the requirement that food and feed facilities analyze hazards, implement appropriate preventive controls and develop written food/feed safety plans – each of which is intended to minimize or prevent the potential for products to be adulterated or misbranded.

One of those sets of proposed regulations is to address human food, and reportedly will consist of a 400-page preamble, 200 pages of economic analysis and the regulations themselves. The second set of proposed rules will be for animal feed, feed ingredient and pet food manufacturers, and consist of a 200-page preamble, 100-page economic analysis and the text of the proposed regulations.

The other two sets of proposed regulations scheduled to be issued Jan. 4 will pertain to law's requirements that: 1) food and feed facilities implement a foreign supplier verification program; and 2) produce growers and handlers implement hazard analysis, preventive controls and product-tracing systems for such products as fruits, vegetables, spinach and lettuce.

Each of the proposed regulations is expected to be accompanied by a "fact sheet" summarizing the major requirements.

It is expected that FDA will provide a 60-day comment period for each of the proposed regulations, although requests to the agency to extend the comment period to 90 days or longer are anticipated. FSMA mandates that the hazard analysis, preventive controls and written food/feed safety plan requirements of the law take effect July 3, 2012.