FDA Citations for 2020 Ranked

Feb. 2, 2021
Failure to establish a foreign supplier verification program was the most frequent food plant violation cited by the FDA in 2020 for the third year in a row.

Failure to establish a foreign supplier verification program was the most frequent food plant violation cited by the FDA in 2020 for the third year in a row.

FDA issued 514 citations for inadequate foreign supplier verification programs last year, according to Registrar Corp., a private consulting firm that aids with FDA compliance. An FSVP is required under the Food Safety Modernization Act to ensure that ingredients are coming from safe sources.

The next most frequent citations were:

Hazard analysis (104 incidents): FDA regulations require facilities to identify potential biological, chemical or physical hazards and establish preventive controls for them.

Pest control (98 incidents): Plants were cited for either failure to prevent pests or improper use of pesticides.

Manufacturing controls (95 incidents): Plants were cited for not conducting operations under conditions that would minimize the chances for potential microorganism growth, allergen cross-contamination, or contamination and deterioration of food.

Personnel (87 incidents): Plants were cited for personnel not following good manufacturing practices while handling food products.

Registrar noted that various kinds of sanitation violations, while individually not making it into the top five, collectively accounted for more than 200 violations.

FSVP violations were up from 2019, but all other kinds of violations were down, which Registrar attributes to fewer inspections performed during the pandemic.

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