Keeping up with regulations to ensure your farm is using best practices can be daunting.
Extension provides science-based, on-farm food safety knowledge to:
What are the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Produce Safety Rule?
The FSMA is the food safety regulatory framework to prevent microbial contamination
that leads to foodborne illness. The act comprises seven rules. Two of these rules
authorize Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish regulations for the:
The Produce Safety Rule (PSR), outlined in Section 105 of FSMA, establishes science-based
minimum standards for safe production and harvesting of fresh fruits and vegetables.
These standards are based on a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). The
rule is divided into several parts, including standards for:
- Worker health, hygiene, and training
- Agricultural water, both for production and post-harvest uses
- Biological soil amendments of animal origin (e.g., compost, manure)
- Domesticated and wild animals
- Equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation
- Production of sprouts
Does the Produce Safety Rule apply to me?
The PSR went into effect in January 2018. View the September 2017 Updated Guidance Report.
If you produce fruits and vegetables that are sold and then consumed raw (i.e lettuce,
apples, etc), and you gross more than $25,000 (adjusted for inflation) per year, the short answer is: Yes.
This is sometimes referred to as being a "covered farm" under the PSR.
Rules for when producers must be in compliance with the new regulations, including
participating in specialized training and when or if they may be inspected, vary based
on the size of the operation.
small and very small businesses understand how the requirements of the PSR apply to
farmers determine whether they are eligible for a qualified exemption and
requirements of a qualified exemption status.
All producers, including those who are exempt from the PSR, should follow basic food
safety rules as a part of good farm management practices.
How is the FSMA Produce Safety Rule different from a GAP audit?
Good Agriculture Practicesare voluntary audits for produce operations. The United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) administers the GAP certification program. GAP certification is often a requirement for selling to grocery stores or regional distributors.
GAP certification does not equal compliance with FSMA.
The basic difference between these two programs is:
FSMA is a federally mandated program growers must follow, whereas,
GAP is a market driven program that is not required by law.
Having experience with GAP certification will help you understand FSMA compliance.
Both systems share many of the same principals, but they are not identical. One significant difference is that FSMA requires attendance at an FDA approved food
safety training course.
What is the Preventive Controls Rule?
The Preventive Controls Rule (PCR) is another rule under the FSMA. It applies to food
processing facilities, including fresh cut fruit and vegetable operations. The goal
of the PCR is to prevent contamination of the nations food supply at the processor
level. View the FDA website and the links below to learn about this rules and the requirements.