Guidance Documents versus Regulations

Issues

Guidance Documents versus Regulations

The Breakdown

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.

Our Position

• 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.

Glossary & Acronyms

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