The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) praises the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement to extend its deadlines and inspection time-frames for when certain-sized facilities should come into compliance with some Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules and regulations.
By extending the deadlines, the FDA will have more time to release the final FSMA guidance documents and train its inspectors, while the regulated animal feed industry will have greater opportunity to perform the necessary retrofits to animal food safety plans and processes to ensure full compliance with federal regulations.
“Throughout the rulemaking process, AFIA has asked the agency to take a staggered approach to implementation to allow the industry time to focus on current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) implementation and also to receive the necessary guidance to properly implement the hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls (HA/PC) requirements,” said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA’s vice president of public policy and education. “AFIA applauds the agency for continuing to offer this staggered approach and flexibility as the industry implements these broad sweeping regulations.”
Small-sized animal feed facilities (i.e., firms with fewer than 500 employees) will need to come into compliance with the HA/PC regulations by September 17, with the FDA delaying inspections until the fall of 2019. Initially, inspections were set to begin in January 2019, but the additional 9 months provides small-sized facilities the same opportunity that the FDA granted to large-sized facilities (i.e., those with more than 500 employees) to learn and implement the rules and regulations. The FDA intends to delay compliance for very small businesses (i.e., those with sales totalling less than US$ 2.5 million and certified to the FDA) from the requirements applicable to qualified facilities until the fall of 2020.