Aug 22, 2017
FDA launches food safety plan builder

FDA is releasing a new software tool to help owners and operators of food facilities create a food safety plan specific to their facilities. The planning tool is intended to help businesses meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food.

The food safety plan builder  a tool designed to assist owners/operators of food facilities with the development of food safety plans that are specific to their facilities and meet the requirements of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (21 CFR Part 117).

Use of this tool is strictly optional on the part of the user. FDA is not requiring use of this tool to develop a facility’s food safety plan. Although the content of the Food Safety Plan Builder v. 1.0 is consistent with the FDA’s existing guidance and regulations, use of the Food Safety Plan Builder by owners and operators of food facilities does not mean that their food safety plan, preventive controls, good manufacturing practices and other food safety procedures are approved by FDA or comply with FDA requirements.

The Food Safety Plan Builder (FSPB) is a free software application, developed by FDA, that businesses can download from the FDA’s website to guide them, step-by-step, through the creation of a food safety plan, as required by FSMA.

The user is taken through a series of sections (tabs) in the application that prompt the user to answer questions and/or fill in information specific to their business and facility. Once all the tabs have been completed, the file may be saved or printed, and the firm will have a food safety plan to use in its operations and to provide when the FDA conducts an inspection.

While the Food Safety Plan Builder was primarily designed for use by small manufacturers, which may have limited resources, any size manufacturer can opt to use it. Although manufacturers are not required to use the program, FDA designed this program to help companies organize their food safety information and minimize the burden of creating their food safety plan.

FDA has also developed an overview video about the application, as well as individual videos that demonstrate how to navigate the various tabs. These videos are posted on YouTube and may be accessed via the Food Safety Plan Builder webpage. The FDA has also provided a User Guide with individual chapters devoted to each tab. Manufacturers with questions about how to use the tool can access further assistance by contacting the FDA through the email address [email protected].

The program and educational materials are modeled after the Food Defense Plan Builder, which was created to assist owners and operators of food facilities with developing personalized food defense plans for their facilities.

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