The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued updated industry guidance “pertaining to the establishment and maintenance of records by persons who manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food.” Although this fifth edition is effective immediately, FDA welcomes comments at any time.

Requiring records that identify “immediate previous sources and the immediate subsequent recipients of food” along the food-distribution chain, FDA has been given expanded authority by the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2011 to “access records relating to foods that may cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.” Although the guidance incorporates these statutory changes, it has not deviated much from the fourth edition released in September 2006, FDA said. Rather, it provides practical information on such topics as records requirements, retention and availability, and “the consequences of failing to establish and maintain required records or failing to make required records available to FDA.” See Federal Register, February 23, 2012.