Importers & Exporters
Human and animal food manufacturers must comply with several regulations to guarantee the safety and quality of their food products. The product type and market distribution define the specific requirements and regulatory agencies. For example, the USDA regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products, while FDA regulates the production of non-meat foods, non-specified red meats and birds, and fish products).
Facilities that receive, store and distribute human, and animal food products must comply with the Current Good Manufacturing Practices regulation set by the FDA. In addition, those required to register with the FDA per section 415 of the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act also have to implement a Risk-based Preventive Controls Plan mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
IMPORTERS & EXPORTERS
All importers of food for human and animal consumption must verify that their suppliers are implementing practices that offer the same level of public health protection as the Preventive Controls mandated by FSMA rules. For this, they have to develop a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for each type of product and supplier they import from. Likewise, food exporters must ensure their operations comply with the regulations of the country they want to export to.
The FDA regulates the packaging and labeling of food in the U.S. Since not all materials are suitable for use with all types of food under all conditions, and some chemicals could transfer from the packaging to the food, materials must be approved and deemed safe before use. In addition, as a packaging material manufacturer, you must guarantee that materials like plastics, coatings, papers, and adhesives are safe and prolonge product's shelf life.
FDA has developed Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding Produce for Human Consumption—commonly known as the produce rule. Fresh produce doesn't undergo a practical microbial kill step, so growers must follow specific practices for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. Raw produce is regulated by USDA, while FDA regulates processed produce.
All meat sold commercially must be inspected to ensure that it is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs provide this inspection at the Federal and State levels. In addition, food products from non-specified red meats and birds are regulated by FDA and State and local authorities.