The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, commonly known as FSMA, is the most comprehensive reform in food safety law in over 70 years. The act seeks to increase the safety of U.S. food supply by switching the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. The ultimate goal is to minimize illness and death caused by unsafe food. Here is how FSMA has been effecting food and packing safety in the industry since its implementation:
This act requires compliance throughout the food industry. For companies with greater than 500 employees, the registration date to comply with the first FSMA rule, Preventive Controls – was September 19, 2016. However, for companies with fewer than 500 employees, September 18, 2017 was this year’s deadline. Read more for an in-depth look all the actions implemented by FSMA.
The major components of FSMA are enhanced partnership, prevention, inspection compliance response, and import safety.
With a concentration on preventing contamination, a strong emphasis is placed on the data, traceability, and cleanliness of the production process. The experts at Avery Weigh-Tronix put it simply, “This risk-based preventive approach to food safety relies on data and expertise to pinpoint potential food safety issues along the production, distribution and supply chain.”
To abide to FSMA, FDA suggests organizations implement a “thorough system for documenting internal process and record keeping.” Doing so would prove legal standards are being met.
Data and documentation are a key element of any weighing process and there are many points throughout food production that require weight to be taken. Scales that provide traceability of products and ingredients from “cradle to grave” are the ideal weighing solution for FSMA purposes. A scale supplier of Grand Rapids Metroloyg’s reports that, “IP rated bench and indicators can help food suppliers to achieve both backward and forward traceability (be able to identify where all the ingredients came from and where they went).”
A hygienic process is also crucial when preventing contamination. In regards to weighing, the most hygienic applications are those with IP69K ratings. The critera for IP standards are as follows:
Stainless steel, washdown scales and indicators all have IP ratings. IP69K scales and indicators resist dust and water better than any other rated weighing equipment. Their sleek and innovative designs are free of hard seems, rivets, and screws — typically, the areas where bacteria builds up. Not only does the design defend against contamination, but the structure also protects the electronics of the scale which prevents any damage the the scale’s integrity and accuracy.
Including scales and indicators with IP69K ratings to your production process will help align your operation to FSMA regulations. Grand Rapids Metrology can provide a variety of washdown-rated weighing equipment; balances, bench scales, checkweighers, floor scales, indicators, load cells, and more. Some of our main suppliers of washdown products include Rice Lake, Avery Weigh-Tronix, and Ohaus. Such weighing equipment can provide the cleanliness and traceability that FSMA demands.
By complying to FSMA regulations, food production processes prevent contamination that have caused series illness and death in the past. All these products can be purchased and placed into service by Grand Rapids Metrology.