Let’s say you’re ‘small potatoes’ in a field of industry giants. If your company is a registered facility under the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act, you’re probably worried about compliance costs and uncertainties once the FSMA rules comes into play. If you are not particularly thrilled about this new regulation, and feel these rules will yield headaches instead of benefits – look for the silver lining.
Generally speaking, most understand their responsibility to grow, sell, and supply safe food – regardless of their status under issued preventive control rules. The FDA is serious, however, and will be requiring much from the food industry in the next year. They also feel they are providing ample time for food companies to get all ducks in a row.
The benefits of having a preventive plan in place far outweigh the risks associated with not having proper documentation if your company is involved in a recall.
The Costs: A Burden or A Benefit?
If your business is closed or shut down because of a food safety violation, how will the losses from this closure compare to the upfront costs incurred by having a safety net in place?
The FDA estimates average cost burdens to implement FSMA. Here is one example of costs associated with farms:
- A very small farm ($25,000-$250,000 in annual sales) will spend $4,477 per year
- A small farm ($250,001-$500,000 in annual sales) will spend $12,384 per year
- A large farm (over $500,000 in annual sales) will spend $29,545 per year
Under this Act, you’ll be required to have a food safety plan that documents the monitoring, correction, and verification of preventive controls. Depending on the risk assessment of your facility, you may also need to develop documents that record sanitation procedures, a plan of action in case of recalls, supplier verification, and environmental sampling.
In general, there will not be a registration fee required by registered facilities.
There is NO FEE for initial FDA inspections. There WILL BE fees associated with food facility re-inspections. These re-inspection fees cover re-inspection costs for any identified food safety problem.
Under FSMA guidelines, the FDA has authority to assess and collect fees for food recall activities associated with a recall order when a domestic food facility or importer does not comply with such order.
There are also fees that can be collected for administrative costs of the voluntary qualified importer program, for costs associated with issuing food export certifications, and for costs to establish and administer the third-party accreditation program.
The fiscal year 2015 rates are as follows: $217 per hour (if no foreign travel is required) and $305 an hour (if foreign travel is required).
It goes without saying that DeltaTrak’s reusable and single-use data loggers, recorders, and other temperature monitoring solutions play a key role in reducing product waste and recalls. To see DeltaTrak’s temperature monitoring solutions, visit: www.deltatrak.com/products.
Whether your company is established within well-developed markets, or is considered ‘small potatoes’ within the industry, traceability is crucial, developing a food safety plan is key, and becoming a more stringent company by adopting this plan and sticking with it is going to pay off. There will be up-front costs, but your company will be compliant - and that’s the cherry on top of a double-fudge banana sundae.