ABA on FSMA: Bakers' Compliance Costs are 'Simply not Justified'
The American Bakers Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., is gearing up to file a petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking it to exempt storage facilities for packaged foods from stringent hazard analysis and preventive control requirements in new food safety legislation.
Under the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), manufacturers will need to produce detailed analyses to pinpoint biological, chemical and other hazards in their plants and undertake preventative measures to mitigate potential risks.
But, many of these requirements weren’t pertinent to warehouses that store packaged foods, which means the costs of compliance are “simply not justified,” says Lee Sanders, ABA senior vice president, government relations and public affairs, who petitioned the FDA. “The anticipated costs to industry and to consumers are simply not justified by any risks that might be presented at facilities solely engaged in the storage of packaged foods that are not exposed to the environment,” Sanders says.
Packaged products stored in bakers’ warehouses had already been subjected to good manufacturing practice (GMPs) and preventative controls during their manufacture, she adds.
Sanders provided an overview of ABA’s recently filed citizen petition to exempt from compliance or modify the requirements for facilities solely engaged in the storage of packaged foods that are not exposed to the environment.
Given that bakeries typically feed into multiple storage facilities and the cost of compliance per facility ran into thousands of dollars, total compliance costs per manufacturer would be prohibitive, Sanders says.