United States: Long-Awaited Overhaul Of FDA Food Safety Rules Arrives – Part II: A Roadmap For Food Manufacturers On FDA's Changes To cGMPs

The new FDA Rule revamping cGMPs and implementing new rules referred to as HARPC will impact the food industry greatly. In this second in a three-part series (read part one), we will discuss the FDA's changes to cGMPs, noting the changes from the old version to the new, updated regulations.

cGMPs before the new Rule

In 1986, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration created and updated a series of good manufacturing practices rules (cGMPs) for domestic food manufacturers and foreign food manufacturers that import their products to the U.S. Over the last 29 years, the U.S. food industry has experienced significant change, ranging from the sources and content of foods to methods of manufacture and processing. Despite this shift, very little significant change in the cGMPs occurred, and therefore these regulations lagged behind the industry. With the passage of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA has created a new and updated set of cGMPs in conjunction with the new Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls (HARPC) program to correct this lag.

The new cGMPs: Goal is a safe food supply

The new cGMP regulations will be moved from 21 C.F.R. Part 110 et seq. to the first half of 21 C.F.R. Part 117. The second half of part 117 is dedicated to the HARPC sections. As part of the transition, some of the cGMP sections will be amended to take into account the new HARPC language and requirements. The following is a summary of the most important changes to the cGMPs by their new sections, with references to the current Part 110 citations in parentheses:

  • 21 C.F.R. § 117.3 (21 C.F.R. § 110.3): Definitions

    The Definitions section of the new cGMPs has added several important definitions that play an important part in the new regulations and HARPC requirements.

    • Environmental Pathogen, Food Allergen, Cross-contact: These new definitions reflect parts of the HARPC regulations that require food manufacturers to identify the most common risk factors to the products they produce or process.
    • Hazard, Hazard Reasonably Likely to Occur, Reasonably Foreseeable Hazard: As part of the HARPC system introduced in the new Rule, food industry members are tasked with analyzing their facilities and processes, then identifying those hazards that, depending on the food products being processed at that facility and the processes being applied, need to be addressed in the HARPC plan. This anticipates a critical analysis focused on those points in the process where food safety is at risk.
    • Facility, Holding, Manufacturing/Processing, Mixed-type Facility, Packaging, Packing: The HARPC program, like the HACCP plans before it, are context and risk-based. That is, they focus on those hazards that are relevant to the product being processed safely and the procedures being used in a particular facility designed to ensure a safe food supply. The new cGMPs now include specific definitions of the locations and processes that HARPC plans are to cover.
    • Monitor, Preventative Controls, Significantly Minimize, Verification: In addition to identifying risks and hazards relevant to the products and processes used in a facility, the new cGMPs and HARPC requirements also anticipate a specific set of steps that industry members have to undertake to minimize those risks. These new definitions help to clarify these steps.

  • 21 C.F.R. § 117.10-§ 117.35 (21 C.F.R. § 110.10-110.35): Cross-Contact

    • Section 117.10 remains largely unchanged but for several references to cross-contact. Cross-contact is defined as the unintentional introduction of an allergen into a food. This reference is added in several places, and emphasizes the FDA's increased emphasis on protecting American consumers from accidental exposure to undisclosed allergens in their food. This is a theme that continues throughout the new cGMP sections and the HARPC program.
    • Subsection 117.35(e) deals with sanitary facilities and controls and includes a new requirement that facility operators are to maintain non-food-contact surfaces so as to prevent cross-contact contamination. Subsection 117.37(e) simplifies the requirements for handwashing station availability. While the requirements are somewhat vague, they no longer can be read as optional, and instead "must" be met.

  • 21 C.F.R. § 117.80 (21 C.F.R. § 110.80): Processes and controls

    • The content of § 117.80 has been better organized into subsections that emphasize reducing the chances of cross-contact contamination.
    • The new §117.80 has been fleshed out to increase its scope. For example, in the first section, the FDA specifically adds references to (in addition to manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of food products) the receiving, inspecting, transporting and segregating of food products and raw ingredients. While this is not new for FDA inspectors, as they have always considered these aspects of food processing during inspections, adding these activities to the cGMPs emphasizes the FDA's more rigorous approach to enforcement since the FSMA. Food industry members that may be involved only in the handling of finished goods or raw materials will now also be more specifically encompassed by food cGMPs than ever before.
  • 21 C.F.R § 117.110 (21 C.F.R. § 110.110): Defect Action Levels

    • This section discusses the levels of naturally occurring defects in certain foods. The old § 110.110 required the FDA to publish a list of maximum acceptable levels and make it available upon request. That subsection has been removed, leaving the rest of the section intact. Based on the proposed language, the FDA expects industry members to, despite these levels of acceptable natural contaminants, make every effort to remove the contaminants to the lowest level feasible, instead of simply aiming for removing enough to reduce the amounts below FDA maximums.

These changes to the FDA cGMPs may, individually, appear minor, but taken as a whole indicate a paradigm shift within the application of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. Ever since the enactment of the Food Safety and Modernization Act in 2011, the FDA has significantly stepped up its inspections and enforcement actions nationwide. These amendments to the FDA regulations reflect these efforts, expand upon them, and impose new requirements on the industry. All entities involved in food production will now be required to review their processes and facilities, viewing their businesses through a lens of risk identification, analysis, and prevention, from receipt of raw materials (including the business agreements with suppliers) to the moment those products leave the facility doors (including the trucks they leave on and the sales agreements with customers).

These new cGMPs feed directly into the new HARPC policies and reflect their priorities. Please look for our next article which will discuss what a HARPC plan is, and what industry members need to know as they plan to implement them.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions