"Are we there yet?” Many senior plant and dairy corporate leaders are wondering when the journey will end regarding full implementation of the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act.

With the settlement of a recent lawsuit against FDA, a just-released notice to extend comment periods for some of the major FSMA regulations, and a significant rewrite of the Preventative Controls proposed regulation this summer, any internal dairy company and dairy plant timetables to move toward FSMA compliance are significantly out-of-date. 

 The major takeaway of these “adjustments” to the FSMA implementation timeline is that plant budgets need to be increased for calendar year 2015 and 2016 to allow the upgrading of written food safety operational programs, training of staff to properly implement the upgraded programs and enhance the verification and validation of these programs as well as processing equipment.