The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) profoundly altered food safety regulations in the United States, shifting the priority from reacting to food contamination issues to preventing them.
FSMA also provided the FDA with new enforcement authorities meant to achieve better compliance with prevention- and risk-based food safety standards and to better respond to and contain problems when they do occur. The law also gave the FDA tools to hold imported foods to the same standards as domestic foods and directed the FDA to build an integrated national food safety system in tandem with state and local authorities.
Under FSMA, all “low risk” facilities – including breweries, distilleries, and wineries – must submit to periodic inspections.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration exempted wineries from Subpart C (Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventative Controls) and Subpart G (Supply-Chain Program), both of which require a written and documented food safety plan no-site. Nevertheless, wineries must conform to Subpart B (education and training of employees in food hygiene and safety) and Subpart F (record-keeping).
The FDA doesn’t have to offer advance notice of inspections. The FDA also works with state agencies to conduct inspections. Most states employ equivalent agencies with similar functions as the FDA. The FDA has ramped up winery inspections, so operators should be ready.
This checklist helps wineries figure out where they fall.