IDFA and seven other trade associations filed last Friday a citizen's petition with the Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to exempt warehouse facilities that store packaged foods from compliance under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The groups said applying the legislation's hazard analysis and preventive controls provisions to storage facilities would be redundant and would impose added costs with no public health benefit.
"Most of the potential hazards and preventive controls discussed in section 418 are not relevant to facilities solely engaged in the storage of packaged foods not exposed to the environment," the petition stated. "These foods have already been subjected to hazard analyses and preventive controls (including Good Manufacturing Practices) throughout the process of their manufacture and packaging, and they are ready to be delivered to retailers and end-users."
In addition to IDFA, the groups signing the petition were the American Bakers Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the International Bottled Water Association, the International Warehouse Logistics Association, the Peanut & Tree Nut Processors Association and the Snack Food Association.
The dairy industry uses warehouses for storing and distributing fluid milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, butter, and powdered and canned dairy products. In some cases, the manufacturing company owns and operates the warehouses, and in other cases, they are operated by third parties under the direct or indirect control of the manufacturer.
The trade groups estimated that the cost of compliance with the full requirements of the food safety legislation could amount to several thousand dollars per facility. They said the costs aren't justified by any risks and that applying the requirements to warehouses would dilute FDA's focus and expend resources that could be put to better use.
Read the petition here.
Members with questions may contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at email@example.com.