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Sparta Systems Inc.

FDA Compliance

The Food Safety Modernization Act

Best practices for manufacturers to prepare for regulatory changes

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 15:29

(Sparta Systems: Holmdel, NJ) On Jan. 4, President Obama signed into law one of the most comprehensive changes to U.S. food safety since the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The Food Safety Modernization Act gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and related government agencies the authority to develop and enforce more stringent standards and more severe penalties for food manufacturers not in compliance with new regulations.

Across the industry, organizations can expect the upcoming changes to food safety standards to result in more frequent on-site audits and more rigorous testing requirements for food manufacturers, expanded authority for the FDA to initiate product recall, additional records required in safety data collection, and stronger industrywide safety standards.

Sparta Systems’ team of quality experts advises food manufacturers to proactively evaluate their quality and compliance processes in preparation for upcoming changes. The following are best practices for ensuring the safety of products delivered to consumers and for responding to quality incidents in a timely fashion:

Monitor critical processes, identify gaps, and improve regulatory compliance with audit management. While regulatory compliance questions are being raised in light of recent food safety headlines, manufacturers should always implement proactive measures to collect data resulting from supply quality incidents, take the necessary steps to investigate these incidents, and report all critical data to regulators.

Safeguard supply quality with enterprisewide supplier quality management tools. As food manufacturers source ingredients from more suppliers and locations around the globe, manufacturers need to identify and manage risks across the supply chain to protect both company stakeholders and, more important, consumers.

Manage, track, and report on nonconformances, investigations, complaints, and other processes in food manufacturing operations. Food and beverage manufacturers need a holistic and centralized system in place to quickly respond to supply quality issues and limit the impact of incidents that can lead to a brand-damaging recall.

Overall, the impending changes introduced by the Food Safety Modernization Act necessitate more effective quality processes in food manufacturers’ operations. The most successful businesses will critically examine the advanced technologies available in the marketplace that can help food manufacturers go above and beyond today’s governmental guidelines and prepare for tomorrow’s regulatory changes.

Visit Sparta Systems website for more information about audit management and supply chain quality solutions.

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About The Author

Sparta Systems Inc.’s picture

Sparta Systems Inc.

Founded in 1994, Sparta Systems Inc. is the leading provider of enterprise quality management software. In addition to its U.S. operations, the company provides sales and services to Europe, Asia, and Australia through its subsidiary, Sparta Systems Europe Ltd.

Visit www.spartasystems.com.