Gee whiz, what’s up already with the FDA food facility registration requirement? Facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption have to register themselves with FDA, thanks to a change in the law following the 9/11 attacks.
And the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act goosed that requirement, saying facilities had to renew their registration once every two years, and setting up a schedule for doing so, namely, between October 1st and December 31st of each even-numbered year. In other words, starting right now.
Then comes this from FDA on Friday September 28: “Biennial Registration Renewal for Food Facilities will not be available on October 1, 2012. FDA therefore will not be accepting food facility registration renewals at this time. Please check FDA’s website at http://www.access.fda.gov at a later date or sign up for FSMA updates to be informed when it becomes available. Additional information regarding Registration Renewal may be found on the FSMA Registration page.”
FDA is already behind FSMA’s mandated schedule for issuing implementing regulations, as a batch of them, including the heavy duty HACCP-type program requirements that will expand the system to all foods (some exemptions for small operators will be included). Don’t hold your breath for them to appear before the election. It’s easy to imagine that burdensome new requirements on food facilities could become a political football, so you could understand why the administration would stall on that, but delaying the registration requirement just makes FDA look disorganized.
So add the registration requirement to the list of topics on which to watch and wait for FDA pronouncements to emerge.