FDA’s proposed rule on laboratory accreditation would establish a food testing program by accredited laboratories, which is required under FSMA. The laboratory accreditation program, once established, will require that the testing of food in certain circumstances be conducted by laboratories that voluntarily become accredited under this program.
Several of the proposed circumstances are most likely to apply to spice companies and would require the use of an accredited lab. These circumstances include, among others, to support admissibility of imported food into the U.S., to admit food that is under an import alert through successful consecutive testing, to address an identified or suspected food safety problem as evidence for an informal hearing before a mandatory recall order, as part of a corrective action plan submitted after an order suspending the registration of a food facility, or as part of evidence submitted for an appeal of an administrative detention order, and in response to a new procedures proposed by FDA, known as a food testing order, which would address an identified or suspected food safety problem. ASTA submitted comments as part of a larger food industry coalition that addressed the creation of the proposed new food testing order, which would allow FDA to issue food testing orders to require a food company to perform food product or environmental testing in response to an identified or suspected food safety problem.
More information is available on ASTA’s concerns with the food testing order by reading the industry Comments & Positions page, or by watching the ASTA Webinar: What FDA’s Laboratory Accreditation Proposed Rule Means for the Spice Industry.