Processors of fresh cut fruits and vegetables would be covered under the proposed rule, while farms and packers of whole fruits and vegetables would be exempt, according to the proposed rule.
The comment period for the proposed rule is open until March 31, 2014, according to a news release from the FDA. A fact sheet on the proposed rule is available online .
The proposed rule is the sixth issued under the Food Safety Modernization Act, and focuses on prevention and proposes that food facilities would be required to have a written food defense plan.
That plan, according to the release, must address significant vulnerabilities in its food production process. Facilities then would have to have a plan to address possible problems and create monitoring procedures, actions to correct issues and other requirements.
In the proposed rule, the FDA identified four key activities within the food system that are most vulnerable to intentional adulteration:
- bulk liquid receiving and loading;
- liquid storage and handling;
- secondary ingredient handling (the step where ingredients other than the primary ingredient of the food are handled before being combined with the primary ingredient); and
- mixing and similar activities.
The proposed rule does not apply to farms and food for animals, according to the release.
The FDA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule on Feb. 20 of 2014 in College Park, Md. Registration for that meeting is available online.
For more information on the meeting, contact: Nick Cane, Nakamoto Group, Inc., 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 240, Rockville, MD 20852, telephone: 240-357-1176, FAX: 301-468-6536, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will also be broadcast on the web, according to the release.