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FDA Updates Food Facility Registration Guidance

Sep 28, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a new guidance that clarifies requirements for food facility registration and updates food product categories that companies must choose when registering or renewing their registrations.

Most guidance for industry is voluntary and non-binding, but this guidance is mandatory. It clarifies that FDA has explicit authority under the Food Safety Modernization Act to establish that food companies must provide food product categories when registering. 

Regarding food product category changes, the following updates are relevant to dairy:

  • Acidified foods and low-acid canned foods are no longer considered food product categories, because they are now considered activity types;
  • Baby (infant and junior) food products, including infant formula, are specifically listed as a food category; and
  • Cheese and cheese product companies must indicate the type(s) of cheese produced at the facility, such as soft, ripened cheese; semi-soft cheese; hard cheese; and other cheeses and cheese products.

FDA discussed several of these changes when it finalized the food facility registration regulation this summer. FDA uses this information, when necessary, to provide quick and targeted responses to food-related emergencies stemming from accidental or intentional contamination or adulteration.

For more details, visit:

Reminder to Renew Registration

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires U.S. and foreign food facilities to renew their registration with the Food and Drug Administration every even-numbered year between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, and to indicate the types of foods produced or held at each facility. IDFA encourages members to register early to avoid any system issues due to a last-minute registration rush.

Members with questions can contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at

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