The Proposed Rules, mandated by the Food Safety Modernization
Act (FSMA), are "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing,
and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption" (produce safety)
and Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and
Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food" (preventive
controls). Both Proposed Rules would bring about significant
change in the current food safety system, shifting the paradigm
from one of reaction to prevention of food-related illness
outbreaks. These proposed rules, and the yet-to-be issued
rules in the importer arena and dealing with third party auditors,
are going to be critically important for the foodservice
Congress has been adjourned this month for the annual August recess. Most members, and many staff, have been away from Washington. Seemingly little negotiation has occurred on big-ticket items which members must address once they return. Perhaps the most looming item is appropriations, which must be addressed before September 30 to prevent a government shutdown. September is expected to be a busy month on Capitol Hill – in addition to appropriations, Congress must vote on the Iran nuclear agreement, transportation funding, and child nutrition reauthorization.
The U.S. is a step closer to enacting a consistent, national approach to certifying and labeling genetically modified (GMO) foods. A bill passed by the U.S. House today would alleviate food manufacturers’ burden of complying with differing state GMO labeling laws. However, the bill also would lead to an FDA-mandated definition of “natural,” among other provisions.
This month, Congress is focused on clearing its agenda prior to the month-long August recess. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate continue to hold appropriations hearings, attempting progress towards passage of legislation to fund the government past September 30. In addition, Congress is attempting to address funding for transportation programs which expires at the end of July, as well as moving legislation to address the drought in the Western United States, particularly California.
The FDA recently released a menu labeling Small Entity Compliance Guide. The guidance provides answers to what may be burning questions from operators considered small entities - which means they are "independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation."