On August 2, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between the U.S Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Office of Partnerships (OP) to establish collaborative efforts between NIST MEP and the FDA to support the U.S. food manufacturing sector and advance and improve safe food manufacturing practices in the U.S.
The sharing of food safety manufacturing practices is critical to advance safe food manufacturing practices in the U.S. The FDA, together with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has funded a network of public and private partners in state, federal, tribal and international governments, industry and academia for the development and delivery of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training. Via this MOU, the MEP National NetworkTM is being recognized by the FDA as an additional, value-adding resource to extend assistance to small U.S. food processors relating to food safety best practices and understanding how to implement FSMA and food safety requirements and standards.
The MEP National Network is developing capabilities and capacities across the nation in which local MEP Centers are striving to be go-to sources of expertise for small U.S. food processing companies in all areas of good manufacturing practices – highlighting food safety and awareness and implementation of FSMA requirements. Through this MOU, the FDA will serve as a partner resource to NIST MEP to assist with providing food safety training and awareness to small U.S. food processors across the Nation that otherwise are challenged to receive information on food safety requirements and FDA guidance via existing FDA networks and alliances.