Many stakeholders in the food industry are confused about implementation deadlines surrounding FSMA, according to a recent study from PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

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The report detailed food manufacturers’ perceptions of FSMA, and how equipment manufacturers can best help them respond to the upcoming regulations.

“Since 2011, FSMA has been a source of anticipation and anxiety for many food and beverage manufacturers. The legislation can impact companies differently depending on their size and vertical market,” says Paula Feldman, director of business intelligence at PMMI. “Our aim with this study was to shed light on industry concerns and advise manufacturers on ways they can ensure compliance.”

The study, compiled from 64 interviews with manufacturing professionals, identified the industries most affected by the anticipated rules. Fresh produce manufacturers are expected to see the greatest impact. Producers of baby food, infant formula and nutraceuticals will have the least impact since they have already been subject to rigorous standards for preventative controls, traceability, and sanitary equipment design. Industries overseen by USDA are less likely to be impacted. Juice, low-acid canned foods and seafood manufacturers are exempt.

The report expanded on ways that manufacturers affected by FSMA can make strides towards compliance—whether they have one, or more, years to do so. These steps include reducing liability with greater traceability capabilities, evaluating equipment design for improved sanitary construction and easy cleaning, and training operators thoroughly and often.

Companies seeking solutions and insights to advance their food safety measures and learn more about what FSMA might mean to their factories can look to PACK EXPO International 2014 as a resource.

The event kicks off in Chicago from Nov. 2-5 this year, and will be a resource for packaging and processing technologies. Located in the South Hall, The Food Safety Summit Resource Center (Booth #S-2962), sponsored by the Food Safety Summit and GE Intelligent Platforms, will offer information on the latest research and advances technologies to improve cleaning, allergen control and traceability. Subject matter experts will be on hand to respond to attendee questions on FSMA and related topics.

Additionally, PACK EXPO will offer free educational programming on and near the show floor with multiple Innovation Stage locations which will address the advancement of food safety initiatives.

For more information on PMMI’s Food Safety & Traceability Study, find a downloadable executive summary here. To register for PACK EXPO, visit