FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Do you export food or animal feed to the USA? Find out what the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) means for you

What is the FSMA?

A regulatory-driven shift from responding to contamination to preventing it. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama in January 2011.

It aims to ensure the US food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. FDA FSMA includes preventive controls for Human Food and Animal Food; contains specific requirements for Foreign Food Suppliers and Importers; and identification of Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals just to name a few.

Major elements of FSMA

FSMA - major elements graphic

Third Party Certification, Independent Assurance and Training

The Food Safety Modernization Act gives the FDA authority for the first time to ensure that imported products meet US standards and are safe for US consumers, and specific requirements are in place for Foreign Supplier Verification.

GFSI Recognised Certification – FSSC 22000 and BRC

It is important for organisations impacted under FDA FSMA – as well as their suppliers – to obtain certification to a GFSI-recognised standard such as FSSC 22000 for Food Manufacturing and Packaging, FSSC 22000 for Animal Food, or the BRC Global Standard for Food in order to help further ensure compliance with FSMA requirements.

HACCP vs HARPC

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act introduces requirements beyond HACCP, called Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls or HARPC. HARPC encompasses far more in the way of food safety assessment and control than a traditional HACCP plan. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food rule and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food are both now final, and compliance dates for some businesses begin in September 2016.

Preventive Controls Qualified Individual

The FDA has engaged the Illinois Institute of Technology to develop a recognised training course to satisfy the requirements around the PC Qualified Individual, including gaining a full understanding of the regulations around the Preventative Controls for Human Food. LRQA offers the FDA-recognised FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food course in both public and onsite settings.

LRQA FSMA Articles


These articles provide insightful information on FSMA as well as tips for food safety practitioners on how to prepare for FSMA. Download your copy of the articles using the links below:

Food Safety Strategy Preparing for FSMA
LRQA Article - FSMA and Food Safety Strategies
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LRQA Article - Preparing for FSMA
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LRQA is ready to help

LRQA is a leading independent provider of assurance services including assessment, certification, validation, verification and training across a broad spectrum of standards and schemes. We are recognised by over 50 accreditation bodies and deliver our services to clients in more than 120 countries, and are ready to help you:

  • FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food Qualified Individual Training – FDA Recognised Course
  • FSSC 22000 Certification for Manufacturing and Packaging
  • FSSC 22000 Training for Manufacturing and Packaging
  • FSSC 22000 Certification for Animal Food and Feed
  • BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Certification and BRC FSMA Voluntary Module
  • Customised Assurance and Company-Specific FSMA Services, including Second Party Audits and Verification of:
    • Foreign Supplier Facilities
    • Facility Conformance
    • Adulteration Risks
    • Sanitary Transportation
    • Supplier and Supply Chain Risks
  • GFSI Global Markets Capacity Building Programme
  • SMETA 4-Pillars

Why choose LRQA?

In the food safety arena, our services include certification and assessment services to FSSC 22000, ISO 22000, HACCP, BRC, the Global Markets Programme, GMP+ Feed as well as a range of regional and national food safety standards and schemes. We also offer second party audits, customised audit programs and training to help you drive client confidence in your food supply chain. LRQA works with over 5,000 food organisations and their supply chains, from the world’s top brands to the smallest independent suppliers.

The technical know-how and project management expertise of our globally renowned, experienced and highly trained food safety experts ensures that we can adapt our assurance services to your business needs.