We are dedicated to ensuring FSMA compliance, a responsibility we share with our customers.
What is the FSMA?The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) represents the most widespread and sweeping reform to American food safety laws in the last 70 years. It was signed into law on January 4, 2011, by President Barak Obama and we’re all for it because it supports our collective customer mission to assure that fresh, safe and quality foods reach the tables of families across North America and the world. The FDA website explains that the FSMA “gives the FDA new mandates, authorities, and oversight tools aimed at providing solid assurances that those practices are being carried out by the food industry on a consistent, on-going basis.”
Why is the FSMA necessary in the United States?While the reasons for creating new laws can be varied and complicated, the origins of this law likely came out of several high-profile recalls that occurred over a short period of time during the 2000s. The public outcry regarding food safety put significant pressure on both Canadian and United States regulatory bodies. Past food regulation was traditionally reactionary, rather than preventative, prompting regulators to deal with the problems after the fact, on a case-by-case basis. While this helped contain and eliminate problems at particular facilities, it did not stop the problem from occurring at other sites.
The FSMA rectified this issue by placing the onus for prevention on both manufacturers and shippers, which we support because we work best when we work alongside our customers.
How does the FSMA affect cross-border customers?The FSMA consists of seven foundational rules that make both the manufacturer and the shipper accountable for modernizing food safety. The biggest impact for us—and for our customers—is a rule that recently came into effect regarding Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Foods. This shared responsibility reinforces our commitment to our customer relationships and our common mission to assure that food is both fresh and safe.
How are we your proactive compliance ally?Food is our focus, which is why we are dedicated to achieving FSMA compliance together. The United States is very firm on holding facilities accountable and will stop trucks to monitor and audit. If we are ill-prepared, products can be delayed or even rejected at the border. We cannot allow this to happen. The loss of time and money is inexcusable, which is why we continually look for opportunities to be proactive in maintaining our shared responsibility. So what are we doing right now?
- Continually implement and reinforce compliance training and education throughout our organization with a focus on best practices regarding handling and transporting food items.
- Proactively assess and monitor our vehicle transportation equipment to ensure that design and dimensions support food safety, quality and freshness.
- Rigorously maintain up-to-date records and proper documentation for at least 12 months.