November 4, 2009
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today published a notice in the Federal Register, extending to January 4, 2010 the comment period on its draft guidances to improve the safety of tomatoes, leafy greens, and melons. The Agency is taking this action in response to requests for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.
These commodity-specific guidances (CSGs) are intended for growers, packers, processors, transporters, retailers, and others throughout the supply chain. The CSGs provide a framework for identifying and implementing appropriate measures to minimize the risk of microbial contamination of tomatoes, leafy greens, and melons. The guidances are designed to complement FDA’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Good Agricultural Practices Guide) and the Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
In developing the CSGs, FDA relied heavily on existing industry commodity-specific guidances, agency produce initiatives and programs, lessons learned from outbreak investigations, and other public and private programs. Publication of these guidances is consistent with the principles embraced by the White House Food Safety Working Group.
Comments on guidance may be submitted at any time. However, to ensure that comments are received in time for FDA’s consideration in drafting final guidance, written or electronic comments should be submitted within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD. 20852. Submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should be identified with the docket number listed in the notice of availability, as published in the Federal Register.
For questions regarding this draft document, contact the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at 301-436-1700.