Supply chain management involves the careful oversight and organized handling of a product’s development flow, from purchase and receipt of the raw materials to its manufacturing, testing, label development, labeling, packaging and distribution processes with the various service providers in each segment of the supply chain.
Supply chain management is crucial for contract manufacturer selection because of FDA’s recent focus on the requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011—rules that require firms to register their food facility in response to the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. The Act additionally gives FDA the ability to provide critical attention to “improved information management” to help protect the food supply. Under FSMA requirements, firms are required to have a written supply chain program. Not only “food firms,” but dietary supplement firms (i.e., own label distributors and contract manufacturers) as well, must comply per 21 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 117 Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food – Subpart G – Supply Chain Program.
In brief, Subpart G is comprised of eight sections:
- §117.405—Listing the requirements to establish a supply chain program;
- §117.410—General requirements applicable to the program;
- §117.415—Responsibilities of facilities that manufacture/process a raw material or other ingredient that it receives from a supplier (known as a “receiving facility”);
- §117.420—Use of approved suppliers;
- §117.425—Determination of appropriate supplier verification activities (including determining the frequency of conducting the activity);
- §117.430—Conducting supplier verification activities for raw materials and other ingredients;
- §11435—Performing onsite audits;
- §117.475—Records documenting the supply-chain program.
In addition to these regulations, FDA issued a guidance document [link “guidance document” to https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/UCM583490.pdf] in November 2017 to assist the industry in understanding the necessary roles and responsibilities and areas of enforcement.
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