On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a Temporary Policy regarding preventive controls and food supplier verification audit requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This guidance explains the current intent of FDA to not enforce onsite audit requirements in certain circumstances related to the impact of COVID-19. Such onsite audit requirements can be found in three important food regulations:
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (21 CFR Part 117);
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals (21 CFR Part 507); and
- Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals (21 CFR Part 1 Subpart L).
The Agency has stated that this temporary guidance will become effective immediately, without comment from the public, due to the exigent circumstances surrounding this ongoing public health threat.