FDA food facility registrations increase 24% since 2015

March 16, 2016

All food facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or store food, beverages, or dietary supplements for consumption in the United States are required to register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request obtained by Registrar Corp, there were 207,655 food facilities registered with the FDA as of Jan. 1, 2016. Registrar Corp’s 2016 FOIA request shows a 24% increase in registrations since 2015. From 2014 to 2015, however, the firm’s data showed a 14% decrease in registrations. According to FDA, there was also a large drop in the number of registered facilities from 2012 to 2013 due to facilities failing to renew their registration during FDA’s biennial renewal period.

Of the 207,655 registered food facilities as of Jan. 1, 2016, 120,822 were located outside of the United States. The 10 countries with the largest number of FDA registered food facilities remain the same in 2016 as those reported in 2015:

  1. United States (86,773)
  2. Japan (13,941)
  3. France (10,450)
  4. Italy (10,125)
  5. China (9,667)
  6. Mexico (9,575)
  7. Canada (6,690)
  8. Spain (4,688)
  9. Republic of Korea (3,921)
  10. India (3,455)

The 207,655 registered facilities reported in the FOIA request is significantly lower than the 300,539 registered food facilities FDA reported on the agency’s Food Facility Registration Statistics page on Feb. 4, 2016. According to the FDA, this is because facilities that engage in more than one activity (manufacturing, labeling, etc.) are recorded multiple times on FDA’s website, thus leading to inflated registration numbers.

Registrar Corp expects this pattern to continue: an increase in registrations from odd to even years, and a significant decrease from even to odd years. This is because many facilities are unaware of or forget about FDA’s biennial registration renewal requirement, a requirement established under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011. Under FSMA, food facilities must renew their FDA registrations each even-numbered year between October 1 and December 31. The first registration renewal period occurred in 2012. The next registration renewal period will begin on Oct. 1, 2016.

Press release