A food company’s supply chain can be the weakest link in their food safety program. Food ingredient adulteration, fraud, and counterfeiting negatively impacts everyone in the food supply chain. FDA has recognized the risk in the food supply chain. Sanitary transportation and the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) are major components of FSMA with final rules being issued this year in April and May, respectively.
FSVP applies to most entities that import food into the United States from abroad, including domestic facilities and food brokers. For each food it imports, an importer would be required to develop, maintain, and follow a FSVP that provides “adequate assurances” that its foreign supplier is producing the food in compliance with processes and procedures that provide “at least the same level of public health protection” as FDA’s standards for preventive controls and produce safety, if either is applicable. The foreign supplier must also demonstrate that it is producing the food in compliance with the adulteration and allergen-labeling requirements of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (Sections 402 and 403(w), respectively).