The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a significant change to US food safety legislation with the prevention of food contamination the key focus. The legislative changes impact both US domestic and foreign food facilities manufacturing human and animal foods to be consumed in the US.
All organizations across the world that export human or animal food to the US will need to comply with the expectations of the FSMA Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). The responsibility of confirming the requirements are met belongs to the US importer as they have the onus of sourcing safe food from the global food supply chain.
In addition to the requirements of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, the importer may also participate in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) to facilitate the importation of foods from facilities that have been certified in accordance with FDA’s programme for Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and issue Certifications.
The FSMA accredited third-party certification voluntary program allows for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies and auditors to conduct food safety audits and issue certification of foreign food facilities and the foods they produce. This certification will be required for:
- Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) to expedited review entry of imported foods
- When a food offered for import is required to be accompanied by a certification from an accredited third-party certification body (mandated by the FDA)