FSMA – Food Safety Modernization Act

What is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a law that represents a comprehensive reform of food safety regulations in the United States. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011. The primary goal of FSMA is to shift the focus of federal regulators from responding to food contamination incidents to preventing them.

The Importance of FSMA

The FSMA emerged as a response to the rising number of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. This law enables the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have a more preventive rather than reactive approach to food safety.

Key Provisions of the FSMA

FSMA gives the FDA new enforcement authorities designed to achieve higher rates of compliance with prevention- and risk-based food safety standards. The law also gives the FDA a broad range of tools to effectively respond to food safety problems. Some key provisions include mandatory preventive controls for food facilities, mandatory produce safety standards, and the authority to mandate a recall of contaminated food.

FSMA and Imported Foods

An important aspect of FSMA is that it holds imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods. The FSMA mandates that importers verify that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure safety and FDA will have the authority to block foods from firms or countries that refuse inspection.


In summary, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a critical piece of legislation that aims to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply by shifting the focus from reaction to prevention. It gives the FDA the tools and authority it needs to prevent food safety problems rather than simply responding to them after they occur.