The American Bakers Association and a number of other industry trade associations have submitted a citizen petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking regulations that would exempt those businesses engaged in storing packaged foods from hazard analysis and prevention controls applicable to food producers and processors.
The petition notes that under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Congress allowed FDA to implement its food safety provisions “in a manner that acknowledges the difference in risk posed by various types of operations.” Claiming that “storage facilities themselves pose a very limited, if any, food-safety risk,” the petition notes that any potential hazards in warehouses are already addressed through existing good manufacturing practices governing warehousing and distribution facilities.
The petitioners, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Bottled Water Association, and Snack Food Association, seek a rule that would state, “A facility that is engaged solely in the storage, holding, warehousing, or distribution of packaged foods that are not exposed to the environment shall be exempt from the requirements of section 418 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act if the facility complies with the requirements set forth at 21 C.F.R. § 110.93.”
According to American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) President and CEO Kraig Naasz, speaking in support of the petition, “Food safety is the highest priority throughout the frozen food industry supply chain. The FSMA provisions requiring warehouse facilities that store packaged frozen foods to implement the same preventive controls required of food producers are overly burdensome, duplicative and unnecessary, and would lead to increased costs for the warehouse community and, ultimately, consumers.” See AFFI Press Release, July 25, 2011.