The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued revised food safety standards for state regulatory programs that oversee food facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods. These regulatory program standards, known as the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS), were first issued by the agency in May 2007 and are updated every three years. The 2019 changes include updates to defined terms, new appendices and job aides, as well as updates to the current standards.
The FDA established a committee comprised of officials from the FDA and state agencies responsible for the regulation and inspection of food facilities to develop and update the MFRPS as a set of quality standards for manufactured food regulatory programs.
The regulatory program standards are comprised of 10 standards designed to protect the public from foodborne illness and injury. These elements include the program’s regulatory foundation, staff training, inspection, quality assurance, food defense preparedness and response, foodborne illness and incident investigation, enforcement, education and outreach, resource management, laboratory resources, and program assessment.
There were no extensive and/or significant changes made throughout the 2019 MFRPS Standard. However, there were several changes made to improve understanding and clarity.
The FDA is extending the comment period for the third installment of the draft guidance designed to support compliance with the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
While most food production and supply chains have been resilient during the pandemic, there are FDA-regulated food establishments that have closed temporarily or face challenges that could lead to closures because of COVID-19.
The FDA has announced that it will provide flexibility regarding eligibility criteria for the qualified exemption under the Produce Safety Rule during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that households in an additional 13 states will soon be able to purchase food online with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
As restaurants and bars resume operations in some areas of the United States, the CDC has published a guidance document that offers considerations for ways in which operators can protect employees, customers, and communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.