Food Safety Modernization Act Assistance Available
September 9, 2012
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed by Congress in 2011 represents the most significant overhaul of food processing regulations in decades. While some regulation implementing specific provisions have yet to be released, it is clear that there will be a significant impact on many small food producers in Vermont.
Companies with significant sales outside of a 250 mile radius of their home base will need to develop written plans covering the seven principals of HACCP, or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Most other companies will still need to demonstrate that they have analyzed possible food safety hazards and have documented controls for those hazards in place. Additionally, many retailers, institutional buyers and distributors are requiring written food safety plans from their vendors.
The Vermont Specialty Food Association (VSFA) has received a USDA/Rural Development grant to help Vermont food producers develop food safety plans to comply with FSMA. A full day workshop on developing food safety plans to comply with the law will be held on Sept. 18 in Montpelier. The $25 fee covers material, lunch and snacks. To register, contact Sandy at the association office, 802-839-1930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the grant services, Brian Norder of Vermont Food Consulting Services is offering free private consultations around the state. These individual sessions will help food producers assess their current food safety plans and provide guidance on future needs. Producers will also receive templates for many sections of their food safety plans and instructions for their use.