The final rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have been issued, after several years of drafts and revisions, and concern about what the new regulations would mean for maple producers. Based on a read of the rules, and a discussion with Jenny Scott, Senior Advisor at the Office of Food Safety of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, for most sugarmakers the impact will be minimal.
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Lead in maple syrup, originating from sap collection or syrup production, storage or packaging processes, is readily preventable with producer knowledge and use of good manufacturing practices. The ultimate goal is for all equipment and materials containing lead to be phased out of production.
To ensure safe food and adequate sanitation programs, the equipment used for processing and handling food products must be designed, fabricated, constructed, and installed according to sound sanitary design principles. This ensures the equipment can be adequately cleaned and sanitized, and that surfaces are resistant to daily exposure to corrosive food products and cleaning/sanitizing chemicals. Equipment that does not meet basic sanitary design principles, or is installed or used improperly cannot be adequately cleaned and sanitized.