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Details Announced on FDA Inspectors Remote Work

The FDA announced during an animal food industry conference call regarding COVID-19, that FDA will be stepping up its remote work by inspectors. Inspectors will be contacting facilities to verify and update the information in the database of establishments. What to Expect:
FDA's remote work:
  • Inspectors will conduct remote work for domestic facilities only, with contact being made via email or phone depending on the contact information currently associated with the facility.
  • Work could begin “soon” for animal food facilities.
  • Inspectors will be validating the inventory of firms, sharing FDA COVID-19 materials and be available to answer questions and talk with firms on other COVID-19 related issues.
  • The response and engagement of firms with inspectors is voluntary,  but encouraged by the FDA. Participating or deciding not to participate will not put facilities on any sort of inspection priority either way.
  • What are the benefits of participating?
    • This provides an opportunity to update your facility information instead of waiting for the online facility re-registration later in the year (which will still need to be completed).
    • By updating the information with the FDA, especially for products produced at the facility, it will help the FDA assign the proper inspector to the facility.
    • It provides an opportunity for two-way communication on COVID-19 and any specific needs of the firm.
    • Firms can use it as an opportunity to get better acquainted with the inspection force for their region.
Can FDA inspectors request records to review while they are not doing inspections? FDA officials have informed AFIA that FDA inspectors will NOT be doing this for regulations where they do not have the authority.
 
An audio recording and transcript of the March 31 conference call.
 
FDA Announces FSVP Remote Inspections
The FDA has started conducting remote Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspections since the agency is not doing in-person inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency is able to conduct remote inspections for FSVP because the regulations provide FDA this authority, unlike other regulations. Information on the program can be found in the FDA constituent update.

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