Although the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed more than two years ago, more questions than answers still exist about how the law will affect bakeries and snack manufacturers.

To clarify the many convoluted issues surrounding this law, Baking & Snack Editor Dan Malovany interviewed Richard Stier, an expert on food safety and contributing editor to the magazine. Mr. Stier is a consulting food scientist with international experience in food safety including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs, food plant sanitation, quality systems, process optimization, good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliance and food microbiology.

The biggest issue with FSMA is that FDA has only now started issuing regulations to enforce the act. On Jan. 4, the agency announced two proposed rules, the first requiring food manufacturers to develop a written plan to prevent their foods from causing foodborne illness and the second covering farms.

In this exclusive report, Mr. Stier talks about the myriad pocketbook concerns that may arise as the government issues regulations.

Dan Malovany: What’s the biggest lesson learned from the past year in food safety as it relates to bakeries and snack food operations?

Richard Stier:

What can bakers expect from FSMA regulations in 2013?

Since FSMA became law, what issues have surfaced that will need to be addressed?

What are the biggest pocketbook issues posed by FSMA?

What equipment design changes need to occur in the next couple of years to improve food safety?

What best practices should facilities adopt to deal with allergens and pathogens?

What is the best advice you have ever given or heard about for improving food safety?