USDA Releases Software to Help Small Operations with Food Safety Plans

To help businesses meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food, USDA is releasing a new software tool to help owners and operators of food facilities create a food safety plan specific to their facilities.

The Food Safety Plan Builder (FSPB) is a free software application, developed by FDA, that businesses can download from FDA’s website to guide them, step-by-step, through the creation of a food safety plan, as required by  FSMA.

The user is taken through a series of sections (tabs) in the application that prompt the user to answer questions and/or fill in information specific to their business and facility. Once all the tabs have been completed, the file may be saved or printed, and the firm will have a food safety plan to use in its operations and to provide when FDA conducts an inspection.

While the Food Safety Plan Builder was primarily designed for use by small manufacturers, which may have limited resources, any size manufacturer can opt to use it. Although manufacturers are not required to use the program, FDA designed this program to help companies organize their food safety information and minimize the burden of creating their food safety plan.

To assist users, FDA has also developed an overview video about the application, as well as individual videos, that demonstrate how to navigate the various tabs. These videos are posted on YouTube and may be accessed via the Food Safety Plan Builder webpage. FDA has also provided a User Guide with individual chapters devoted to each tab. Manufacturers with questions about how to use the tool can access further assistance by contacting FDA through the email address [email protected].

The program and educational materials are modeled after the successful Food Defense Plan Builder, which was created to assist owners and operators of food facilities with developing personalized food defense plans for their facilities.

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