U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the food safety requirements for state regulatory programs that keep an eye on food manufacturing, processing, packing, or storage facilities.
The government first released the regulatory program standards in May 2007 under the name Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS).
Along with modifications to the current standards, the 2022 amendments also include adjustments to previously specified words and new job aides.
MFRPS are meant to bring state and federal regulators’ in food safety standards and laws, and in inspection programs and practices up to a basic level of parity.
The standards are a critical component in establishing the national Integrated Food Safety System.
MFRPS aims to put in place a nationally integrated risk-based food safety system with an emphasis on preserving public health.
The MFRPS creates a standardized framework for evaluating and enhancing the effectiveness of manufactured food regulation programs’ prevention, intervention, and response actions.
It consists of ten standards intended to safeguard the general population against foodborne diseases and accidents.
The standards cover the program’s regulatory foundation, staff training, inspection, quality assurance, food defense preparedness and response, foodborne illness and incident investigation, enforcement, education and outreach, resource management, laboratory resources, and program assessment.
The program standards have corresponding self-assessment and supplemental worksheets designed to assist the regulatory program in achieving and sustaining conformance.
The FDA will use the program standards as a tool to continuously improve manufactured food contracts and promote the development of a high-quality state manufactured food regulatory program which includes a process for continuous improvement based upon quality management systems.
The program standards will assist both the FDA and the states in fulfilling their regulatory obligations. States will be expected to develop and implement improvement plans to demonstrate that they are moving toward full implementation and to participate in the FDA audits to determine level of conformance.
States are encouraged to build sustainable systems including sustainability strategies and plans that will result in the standards being maintained in conformance.
According to the update, Standard 3 on inspection has been modified to state, “When appropriate, verify the manufactured food firm has a written food safety plan which includes a written HAZARD analysis that appropriately addresses HAZARDS, and when appropriate, addresses preventive controls (process controls, allergen controls, sanitation controls, supply-chain controls, other controls) and a recall plan”
“Program Assessment”, has been revised to say the “state program completes the Resource Summary Report to assess staffing, funding, and equipment using the Resource Summary Report or equivalent form”.
“Staffing”, has been revised to say, “The state program conducts and documents the calculation for determining the required number of inspectors to inspect manufactured food firms in its manufactured food firm inventory at a frequency that is based on the manufactured food.”