The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued two proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act aimed at strengthening assurances that imported food meets the same safety standards as food produced domestically.
Under the proposed rule for foreign supplier verification programs, importers would need to verify that their suppliers are meeting the same U.S. safety standards required of domestic producers. Requirements for verification activities would be primarily based on the type of food, the nature of the hazard identified and who is best able to control the hazard.
Under the proposed rule for accreditation of third-party auditors, the FDA would recognize accreditation bodies based on certain criteria, such as competency and impartiality. The accreditation bodies, which could be foreign government agencies or private companies, would in turn accredit third-party auditors to audit and issue certifications for foreign food facilities.
Comments on the two new proposed rules are due by Nov. 26, 2013.