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As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to strengthen the safety of the nation’s food supply, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) shares the produce industry’s experience surrounding preventive controls and hazard analysis to assist the FDA’s development of guidance under the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The FDA sought comments on information about preventive controls and other practices used by facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food to identify and address hazards associated with specific types of food and specific processes.
PMA’s comments to the FDA’s emphasize the industry’s commitment to food safety, especially to prevention, and they identify the FDA’s proper role in the development of preventive controls within a food facility, regardless of size.
PMA also offered comment on hazard analysis, validation, environmental monitoring, testing and small business considerations.
PMA stated FDA can play an important role by defining a framework of general expectations around how to conduct proper hazard analyses and the types of preventive controls or metrics that might be valuable. PMA also remarked that FDA, in partnership with the industry, should provide basic guidance to ensure operators of all sizes understand the fundamentals of risk-based food safety programs and preventive controls.
“Food safety programs can and must be scalable, and FDA rightly recognizes the needs of small businesses,” noted Kathy Means, PMA’s vice president of government relations and public affairs. “Every business that handles fresh produce must have a food safety plan, but these plans should be adaptable and not burdensome to small businesses. After all, the reality is that pathogens do not respect size or type of operation and consumers expect their fruits and vegetables to be safe—every time.”
To view PMA’s comments to FDA, visit the Regulatory Interaction page on www.pma.com.