Guidance Documents versus Regulations
• Guidance documents represent an agency’s current thinking and best practices on a topic. They do NOT create or confer any rights for or on any person nor do they bind the government or the public. Guidance documents are not laws.
• Regulations are documents issued by a regulatory agency to implement its statutory authority. They create binding obligations and have the force of the law behind them.
• In order to reduce foodborne illness, regulations must be enforceable. Meaning they must have financial and human power to upkeep the standards within them.
• All food producers should consistently and universally adopt steps to reduce foodborne illness.
• Guidance documents are quicker to publish than regulations but should only be used as a directorial path to follow regulations rather than serve as a replacement for them.
• While some members of the food industry voluntarily meet guidelines, many do not, and therefore enforceable laws are necessary.