Online tool looks to make FSMA navigation easier for US producers

© iStock

An online wizard has been designed to take some of the confusion out of applying US Food Safety and Modernization Act regulation, says designer.

The wizard, or guidance system, was put together by a team with Registrar Corp and is available free for farmers and animal feed manufactures, said Bracey Parr, regulatory analyst.

The system was released last week and attempts to capture both the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) law and the associated rules published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and render them in plain language.

“We’re trying to give people an easy to use tool [with] yes or no questions in simple English, so they can see what the requirements are,” he told FeedNavigator.

The interactive site covers the main conditions and exemptions that would apply to farms, feed manufacturers and food producers, he said. The tool was not aimed at a particular group, but one goal was to reach smaller or medium-sized producers so they will be able to educate themselves.

“What I had in mind was a Turbo Tax [-like product], something that takes a complex regulation and makes it into bite-sized pieces, understandable pieces,” said Parr.

Wizard specifics

The tool works by having the farm, producer or importer enter basic data about the company size and the actions taken or work done at the facility. The tool then provides information about what requirements may apply to that facility and what exemptions exist for the site.

When completed the process also emails the user a summary of the findings: “Not only does it take you through everything, but at the end it gives you a compliance report of what your requirements under FSMA are,” said Parr.

The tool was released prior to the September start date for the rules that apply to larger companies, said Parr. “They have the time to use the wizard [before regulations take effect],” he added.

Rules on the feed may be slightly clearer or less complicated than the ones that address human food, he said. But the company is planning around potential questions from US-based importers regarding regulations and exemptions that apply to “mixed facilities,” or farms that also have on-site processing facilities.

“Facilities that process, pack or hold food on that farm they have a range of exemptions and modified requirements - that’s where I anticipate the majority of question on animal food," said Parr.

Trigger for tool   

The system took several months to design, he said. But analysis of the rules and regulations started well before that.

“We work with around 19,000 food facilities world-wide and we intended it to be for them, but we realized in doing this and [hosting] webinars and seminars and consulates where we speak, there is so much confusion and misinformation,” he said. Thus, a decision was made to share the tool publically.

Additionally, there is set to be more information added regarding specifics of working with food defense regulations and the tool will be translated into other languages. 

So far several hundred people have accessed the online system, he said.

FSMA background

The FDA said the Food Safety Modernization Act looks to update practices and management of animal feed from a food safety standpoint. It focuses efforts on preventive controls to encourage industry to anticipate problems and hazards before they happen and planning for them.

For animal food manufactures, the rules set a series of current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) that look to ensure feed safety in production, handling and transportation. The FSMA animal feed rule also establishes CGMPs for when a by-product has to be further processed before it is used in feed.

Some facilities also will need to have a hazard analysis to check for potential problems or contaminants that could be introduced and that might need a preventive control, according to the FDA.

Related News

©iStock

US feed and grain sector applaud revisions to FSMA rules

© iStock/iqoncept

FSMA course aims at deeper understanding of science behind preventive controls

© iStock

AFIA optimistic about regulatory gains under Trump

© iStock/

FSMA: Penn State extension service wants to hear from feed sector

© iStock/pichet

Expanding eConnectivity in agriculture

© iStock/Thisisdavid88

US agriculture departments call for $20m to fund FSMA work on animal feed

© iStock

AFIA, NFGA offer database to make FSMA compliance easier

AFIA welcomes staggered approach to FSMA feed rule execution

US feed lobbyists welcome staggered approach to FSMA feed rule execution

Industry waits for FSMA feed rule details

Industry waits for FSMA feed rule details

Revised US feed safety standard fully FSMA compliant, says AFIA

Revised US feed safety standard fully FSMA compliant, says AFIA

AFIA confident the US feed sector can meet challenges of FSMA compliance

AFIA confident the US feed sector can meet challenges of FSMA compliance

There should be no exemptions from the animal food rule: AFIA

Spent grains get reprieve but AFIA argues all firms producing 'feed' should be FSMA compliant

Guidance set to make FSMA animal feed rule waters less muddy

Guidance set to make FSMA animal feed rule waters less muddy

Follow our guide on FSMA animal rule implementation to cut costs, AFIA tells FDA

Follow our guide on FSMA animal rule implementation to cut costs, AFIA tells FDA

FDA admits language used in FSMA feed rule muddied the waters: agency set to revise grain proposal

FDA admits language used in FSMA feed rule muddied the waters: agency set to revise grain proposal

©iStock.com

Feed Navigator birthday quiz

AFIA claims phase-in dates of animal food rule one of its ‘biggest victories’

AFIA claims phase-in dates of animal food rule one of its ‘biggest victories’

©iStock.com/Thisisdavid88

FDA rule on feed, animal food transport sees welcome updates

© istock.com/larryhw

US feed players talk priorities for 2016

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.