What is FSMA?

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Gilster-Mary Lee/Food Manufacturing

Companies, such as Tyson Foods, must comply with the new Food Safety Modernization Act, touted as the most sweeping improvement to food safety laws in more than 70 years.

The historic act aims to strengthen the safety of food Americans consume and shifts the focus of foodborne illness from reaction to prevention.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) implementation of this act, which former President Obama signed into law in 2011, requires staggered compliance over several years. FDA enforced some of the earliest components in late 2016. The law and its emerging final rules impact everyone who handles a sizable amount of food, with the primary responsibility for prevention falling to food producers and processors like Tyson Foods.

For the first time ever, this law gives the FDA inspection mandates and legal power to make sure companies meet their duty to prevent foodborne illness. The law’s new importer requirements also add assurances about the safety of food coming from abroad.

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