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FDA provides guidance for small businesses.

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) recognizes the role of small businesses in the food industry and provides for various ways to assist them in meeting the new food safety requirements. FDA recently updated its Web site with a time line of when small businesses can expect to see guidance documents and related materials. These include:

Registration:

FDA will issue "plain language" guidance on registration procedures for small entities within six months of issuing the registration rule.

Hazard Analysis & Preventive Controls:

FDA will issue "plain language" guidance for small entities within six months of issuing the hazard analysis/preventive control rule. The hazard analysis/preventive control rule takes effect for small businesses six months after the effective date, and for very small businesses 18 months after the effective date.

Produce Safety:

FDA will issue "plain language" guidance for small businesses within six months of issuing the produce safety rule. The produce safety rule takes effect for small businesses one year after the effective date, and for very small businesses two years after the effective date.

Tracking & Tracing:

FDA will issue "plain language" guidance for small businesses within six months of issuing the rule on tracking and tracing food and recordkeeping. The recordkeeping rule takes effect for small businesses one year after the effective date, and for very small businesses two years after the effective date.

Training & Education:

FDA will enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a competitive grant pro-gram within the National Institute for Food and Agriculture to provide food safety training, education, extension, outreach as well as technical assistance to farmers, small food processors and small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers.

FDA's Sharon Natanblut noted in a recent Web blog post that, "while FDA and its colleagues at the USDA bring to the table scientific and public health expertise, we all know that farms are very much the real world of soil, air and water open to the elements 24/7 and worked by humans and animals. Farmers can inform us from their experience and practices. Successful produce safety is possible if farmers and food safety officials work together, listening to each other and learning from each other." Natanblut was part of the FDA team that met with the Produce Marketing Association and AMI leaders during June meetings in Washington, DC.
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Title Annotation:general issue
Publication:Mushroom News
Date:Oct 1, 2011
Words:395
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