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FSMA and You

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The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is here, yet none of us is completely sure how it will affect us quite yet. That’s because FSMA is a very large law; it’s the biggest change the United States has made to food safety regulation since the 1930s. It impacts everyone who handles food—from its inception to its consumption. For the sake of this article, we’ll just look at how this act influences food handlers.

Perhaps the biggest change for those who prepare food for human consumption will be the transition from HACCP to HARPC. If you’re unfamiliar with those terms, here’s what they mean:

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It’s an approach to food safety in food processing establishments that seeks out hazards in the flow of food and creates control points to mitigate said hazards.

HARPC stands for Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls. It’s an approach to food safety in food processing establishments that seeks to get ahead of and prevent hazards through quantitative and qualitative risk-based controls.

Essentially, the HARPC approach is more focused on identifying and preventing risks before they happen. It’s considered more effective, therefore, it was included in the law. As far as the impact on certification training is concerned, it is likely that this change will mostly affect Food Protection Manager Certifications rather than Food Handler Certifications; however, in the workplace, everyone will have to adapt to these new methods.

For more information on the differences between HACCP and HARPC, click here.

Currently, though the law is passed, the rule has yet to be established as Congress votes on the many ways this will affect food workers. The law is very deep and very wide, and food handling is just a small portion of the over-arching picture. Be sure to keep informed through our blog on the latest updates and training modules designed to help you understand FSMA better.

Rest assured that no matter what changes are made in food safety law, StateFoodSafety will be prepared to provide you the training you need.

Jeremy Howard

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