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Getting Ready for FSMA


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

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. The rule likely to have the most significant impact on farmers, especially those producing fruits and vegetables, is called the Produce Safety Rule. It 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 requirements for:

  • Worker Training and Health and Hygiene;
  • Agricultural Water (including water quality testing);
  • Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin (such as raw manure and compost);
  • Domesticated and Wild Animals;
  • Equipment, Tools, and Buildings; and
  • Sprouts (for which there are special requirements that differ from the fruits and vegetables covered by the rule).

FSMA Produce Safety Rule Articles

This first article explaining the rule is designed to help farmers understand whether or not the rule applies to them:

The FSMA Produce Safety Rule: Does it apply to my farm?

This article briefly introduces both FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule. It also explains compliance dates for different parts of the rule. Finally, it outlines conditions for exemption from the rule.

The second article in the series is designed to help farmers who are covered by the rule, in whole or in part, understand how to comply:

The FSMA Produce Safety Rule: How to comply

This article first outlines the basic provisions of the rule. It also offers information about key resources and training opportunities relevant to growers.

*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.

* Financial support for this guidebook was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, awarded to and administered by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.


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