New Guide Helps Small Food Facilities Register with FDA
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) to help food facilities meet their registration requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).
The FD&C Act requires food facilities engaged in manufacturing/processing, packing, or holding of food for human or animal consumption in the United States to register with the FDA. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) added new registration provisions to the FD&C Act. In 2016, FDA issued a final rule to reflect these changes, which include the following:
- Facilities are required to provide FDA with assurance that they will be permitted to inspect their facility (in accordance with the FD&C Act).
- Facilities are required to renew their registration every other year.
- FDA now has the authority to suspend a facility’s registration.
Under the 2016 final rule, additional information is also required that supports FDA’s ability to respond quickly to food-related emergencies and that will also help the agency more efficiently use the resources it has for inspections.
The SECG explains which types of facilities are required to register, and when and how to do that. The guide also explains the consequences for facilities that fail to register or to renew their registration as required. In addition, the guide explains when FDA can suspend a facility’s registration and the effect of a suspension order. To further assist small facilities, the SECG includes an “At-a-Glance” that summarizes all of the key information in the document.
In addition to the SECG, FDA also updated their Registration of Food Facilities webpage to include a flowchart meant to help facilities determine if they are considered a retail food establishment, which would mean that they are exempt from food facility registration requirements and not required to register.
The SECG was prepared in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act to help small entities comply with the food facility registration regulations. To register or find more information about registration, owners and operators of facilities should visit the Registration of Food Facilities page at FDA.gov.