If you are a small business trying to get everything in order before the September 18 compliance date for FSMA’s Preventive Controls rule, you now have some extra guidance for the writing of your food safety plan. FDA’s Food Safety Plan Builder (FSPB) is a free software application that businesses can download to guide them, step by step, through the creation of a food safety plan, as required by FSMA.
Although primarily designed for use by small manufacturers, which may have limited resources, any size manufacturer can opt to use it. Manufacturers are not required to use the program, but the FDA designed this program to help companies organize their food safety information and minimize the burden of creating their food safety plan.
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 the FDA conducts an inspection.
To assist users, the 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. The 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 the FDA through the email address FoodSafetyPlanBuilder@fda.hhs.gov.
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.