Food Safety Modernization Act FAQs for Brewers

Brewers’ Responsibilities and Obligations under the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

What is the Food Safety Modernization Act?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011. FSMA is one of the most sweeping reforms of our food safety laws in more than 70 years. It aims to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply, and therefore public health, by requiring domestic and foreign processors (exporting product to the U.S.) to proactively manage food safety hazards associated with the manufacture and transport of FDA-regulated food products. Facilities that manufacture, process, pack, hold or transport FDA-regulated food products (including alcoholic beverages) produced for consumption by humans and animals need to comply with the final rules, though exemptions apply for specific types of businesses, including manufacturers of alcoholic beverages.

FSMA specifically defines alcoholic beverages as food, and for the first time brings breweries, wineries, cider producers and distilleries under direct FDA regulation, without affecting TTB authority. As per Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Subpart A, Section 117.5 (21 CFR 117.5), these facilities are exempt from several portions of FSMA, but need to comply with some of the requirements regardless of the size of their operation.

Download FSMA FAQs for Brewers

Here are examples of some helpful information found in the FAQ:

  • Main elements of FSMA
  • Which aspects of FSMA apply to breweries
  • Staff training
  • Compliance