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FSMA ushers in new approach for US industry

From the October 2016 issue.

The US FDA is tightening regulation for the greater food industry for the first time in over a century. What does it mean for coffee companies?

FDA approved coffee

What’s being touted as one of the most monumental pieces of legislation in the United States food industry by producers, legislators and lawyers alike is now in full force – finally.

In January 2011, US President Barack Obama signed into law the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (colloquially pronounced “fizz-ma”) in the hopes of driving down the incidence of foodborne illness in the US.

More importantly, the goal of FSMA is to establish a “culture” of food safety, shifting from a reactionary approach to a preventive one. Despite the “monumental” move, it took the FDA more than five years to finalise the legislation that would greatly impact the US food industry, including coffee.

“This is the biggest change in the country’s food safety system since the early 1900s,” says Joe DeRupo, External Relations and Communications Director for the National Coffee Association. “The industry is going crazy. Companies are struggling with how to comply; even the FDA is struggling.”

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