The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes to its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), otherwise known as Section 204 of the FSMA are slated to come into effect by November 2022.
This critical food traceability rule is being promised as an effective foundation to mitigate and prevent foodborne illness outbreaks from high-risk foods on the FDA’s Food Traceability List (FTL), which encompasses many fresh foods commonly bought by consumers and served at restaurants, including leafy greens, eggs and cheeses.
The FSMA’s Section 204 requires that stakeholders throughout the food supply chain beef up their traceability recordkeeping capacities as well as revamp the technologies, workflows and procedures for FSMA compliance. The ultimate goal is to leverage harmonized and standardized data sharing for complete supply chain visibility.
The FDA’s endorsement of technology-enabled traceability of food products—instead of manual and paper-based methods used in the past—underscores the pressing need for the food supply chain to adapt to modern times. With foodborne illnesses still affecting millions of Americans each year, the federal agency’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint has become the foundation for encouraging supply chain stakeholders to adopt digital solutions for both FSMA – Section 204 compliance and to better safeguard the country’s food supply.