Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - 23

T
Food safety
in fresh food
retailing post-FSMA
Section 204
By Ronald Margulis
he implementation of food safety regulatory measures is crucial to ensure
the well-being of consumers and the integrity of the food supply chain.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011,
marked a significant milestone in enhancing food safety practices in the United
States. Section 204 of the act stands out as a pivotal component aimed at bolstering
safety standards in fresh food retailing.
As the mandate for enforcement of Section 204 draws closer, supermarkets,
wholesalers and suppliers in the fresh food supply chain may want to start charting
a course for the ever-evolving landscape of food safety beyond the January 2026
start date.
As previously described in this series, FSMA Section 204 places a spotlight on
preventive controls within the fresh food retail sector. By requiring retailers to
implement science-based practices to prevent contamination, mitigate risks and
ensure the safety of fresh produce and perishable goods, this regulation serves as a
cornerstone in safeguarding public health.
The emphasis on preventive controls shifts the focus from reactive measures to
proactive strategies, fostering a culture of vigilance and accountability across the
supply chain.
Going forward, industry observers say retailers and their supply chain partners
will continue to focus on identifying and addressing potential hazards in food
production, processing and distribution through the implementation of preventive
controls, hazard analyses and food safety plans.
New food safety efforts will to be guided by a
Retailers must
adapt to these
changes, stay
informed
about nuanced
scenarios and
invest in digital
platforms
to comply
with evolving
regulations. "
Joe Smirlies, Invafresh
risk-based approach, prioritizing resources and
interventions based on the likelihood and severity of
potential hazards. While ensuring compliance with
FSMA regulations will remain a priority, food facilities
will be expected to continue implementing and
maintaining preventive controls, conducting regular
hazard analyses, and developing and updating food
safety plans as needed.
One of the primary objectives of FSMA Section 204
is to enforce stricter standards for handling, storing,
and transporting food products included in the Food
Traceability List (FTL), 16 categories determined the
riskiest by FDA analytics.
Retailers are mandated to implement
comprehensive food safety plans, conduct risk
assessments and establish monitoring procedures
to detect and address potential hazards effectively in
each of these categories.
Moreover, the regulation necessitates regular
inspections, audits, and record-keeping practices
to verify compliance and track the journey of fresh
foods from farm to fork. The opinion of several
experts is that the FDA will, sooner rather than later,
This is the fourth article in a four-part series providing a comprehensive
understanding of how FSMA Section 204 impacts fresh food
retailing and supermarkets, from its introduction to the challenges
and opportunities it presents for businesses in the industry.
supermarketperimeter.com
MAY 2024 - 23
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Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024

Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - FC1
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - FC2
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - May 2024 - 5
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