Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules Published — Now What?

After months of waiting, on Jan. 16, two new proposed food safety rules were published in the Federal Register. They are:

  • Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food

With many years of food safety research and risk-based programs under our belt, the California Almond industry is well positioned to adapt to the new food safety challenges that lie ahead. However, we do want to make sure that our food safety practices and research-based preventive control programs are adequately recognized and taken into consideration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the comment period and before the rules are finalized.

To that end, Almond Board of California (ABC) staff are actively engaged in reviewing the proposed rules and working with other associations, such as United Fresh, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, Almond Hullers & Processors Association and DFA of California, to identify areas where comments may be necessary.

Written comments on the proposed rules must be submitted to FDA by May 16, 2013. During the next three months, ABC staff will review key issues identified by the Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee, Almond Quality and Food Safety Committee and ABC Board of Directors. We encourage industry members to provide input and participate in committee and/or board meetings leading up to the May 16 deadline. Final comments will be issued by ABC on or before the deadline.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the proposed rules and timeline for comments, please contact Julie Adams at (209) 343-3238 or Tim Birmingham at (209) 343-3222.

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