Malaysian Food Exporters Told To Note New US Rules

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 22 – Malaysian exporters of processed food and beverages to the US are urged to familiarise themselves with the new food safety regulation introduced by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent intentional adulteration of the food supply. 

Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) New York’s Trade Commissioner Muhd Shahrulmiza Zakaria said Malaysian companies should take note on this new regulation and make necessary changes to their standard operating procedures of food defence plan, including alleviation of strategies, identifying relevant personnel in charge if a crisis takes place and to prepare any related documentation. 

“Food manufacturers are required to comply with the new regulation within three to five years after publication of the final rule, depending on the size of their business. Malaysian companies that require more guidance on this new rule can contact Matrade’s New York office by emailing us via [email protected],” he said in a statement yesterday.

The rule was announced by the FDA in May and is the seventh and final major rule under the FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act. The regulation aims to improve mitigation strategies (risk-reducing) to further protect the food supply. Under the new rule, both domestic and foreign food facilities, are required to complete and maintain a written food defence plan that evaluates the potential vulnerabilities to deliberate contamination that can cause wide-scale public health harm.

Facilities have to identify and implement mitigation strategies to address these vulnerabilities, establish food defence monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, ensure that personnel assigned to these areas receive appropriate training and maintain certain records. 

In 2015, the US was Malaysia’s third largest trading partner with total trade valued at RM129 billion. In the same year, Malaysia exported RM816.3 million worth of processed food to the US. For the period of January to April 2016, exports of processed food were valued at RM305 million and major exports products include cocoa products, food preparations/ingredients as well as processed seafood.

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