Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): Implementation and Best Practices

Open Access
Smith, Cassandra Marie
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Robert A. Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Spychalski , Honors Advisor
  • Food Safety Modernization Act
  • FSMA
  • Supply Chain
  • Food Safety
  • Chipotle
  • Best Practices
The purpose of this legislative summary and analysis of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is to outline best practices for its implementation in companies engaging in the sale of final goods for human consumption. The best practices were identified through the consideration of compliance with the regulations, cost-effectiveness of implementation, and guaranteeing food safety. Foodborne illness currently affects one in six Americans annually, making food safety a significant issue of national concern (Overview FSMA, 2015). Information on the nature and requirements of the act, as well as its impact on relevant businesses, is discussed through the application of academic research. Two major companies in the food industry were interviewed firsthand regarding their experience implementing FSMA, with topics of discussion ranging from physical execution to present and future challenges. Furthermore, a case study on the 2015 Chipotle Mexican Grill E. coli outbreak was conducted to further understand the challenges of food safety and its potential repercussions. In summary, the following subjects were identified as critical components in ensuring food quality and safety: comprehensive and effective preventive controls, with emphasis on security and accountability; strong supplier relations, with a bilateral commitment to honesty, safety and openness; safe and well-monitored transport of raw materials and finished products; and a swift and efficient response network in the event of a necessary recall.