This morning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that as of 12:01AM this morning, the updated food facility registration system is now accepting food facility registration renewals. The renewal period was expected to open on October 1, 2012, however, FDA delayed the registration after receiving numerous requests from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other trade associations seeking further guidance in meeting the registration requirements.

Registration renewal is a new requirement mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Originally, food facilities were required to register only once. The law now requires that food facilities re-register every 2 years with FDA, during the period beginning on October 1 and ending on December 31 in even numbered years. Even if a food facility is already registered with FDA, the facility is still obligated to renew registrations during the October 1-December 1 timeframe.

To register, update, or renew a registration, food facilities must submit the paper Form 3537 by mail or fax or register online at www.fda.gov/furls. FDA encourages online registration as the least costly, quickest, and most efficient means for food facility registration.