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Getting Ready for FSMA

Brief Background on FSMA
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January 2011. It authorizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take a preventive approach to ensuring a safe food supply. FSMA contains seven major rules dealing with all aspects of the food supply chain.

Brief Background on the Produce Safety Rule
The Produce Safety Rule (hereafter, “the rule”) sets food safety standards for farms to follow to reduce the risk of microbiological contamination that can occur during the growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fresh produce. The rule sets forth rules and requirements for:

  • Microbiological water quality
  • Water quality testing
  • Application of biological soil amendments (including raw manure and compost)
  • Sprouts
  • Animals, domesticated and wild
  • Worker training and health and hygiene
  • Equipment, tools, and buildings

Some farms might not be subject to the rule, or may not be subject to all provisions of the rule. This document will help you understand whether or not you must comply. Subsequent articles will explain how to comply, and how to access additional resources and support.

Note: farms not subject to these rules in whole or in part are still responsible for producing safe food as outlined in a different federal law: The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) and related regulations. Thus FDA retains the authority to take enforcement action against adulterated food and/or farmers producing adulterated food regardless of a farm or farmer’s FSMA responsibilities.

Introduction
In partnership with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, the New England Farmers Union (NEFU) is pleased to offer a series of articles explaining the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

The FSMA Produce Safety Rule: Does it apply to my farm?
This first article is designed to help farmers understand whether or not the rule applies to them. Subsequent articles will help farmers understand how to comply with the law. The articles will be compiled into a guidebook and updated as new information becomes available from the entities charged with implementing the rule.

This article includes the following:

  • Brief background on FSMA
  • Brief background on the Produce Safety Rule
  • Compliance dates
  • Exemption explanations

How do I comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule?
This article is designed to help farmers who are covered by the rule, in whole or in part, understand how to comply. The previous article helped farmers figure out whether the rule applies to them. If you’re not sure whether this rule applies to you, see our previous article: “The FSMA Produce Safety Rule: Does it apply to my farm?”

*All of the articles in the series will be compiled into a guidebook and updated as new information becomes available from the entities charged with implementing the rule.

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