June 3, 2019
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a draft guidance that, when finalized, will help farmers and educators utilize alternate curricula to meet certain training requirements of the Produce Safety Rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce grown for human consumption. Part of the rule requires that at least one supervisor or responsible party from a covered farm successfully complete food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the FDA. Covered farms are not required to use the standardized curriculum and may use alternate curricula that is at least equivalent.
In the draft guidance, the FDA has recognized as adequate version 1.1 of the standardized curriculum developed by the Produce Safety Alliance. This curriculum was developed in careful consultation with and review by the FDA. The curriculum covers fundamental food safety topics including an introduction to produce safety, worker health and hygiene, training, wildlife and domesticated animals, land use, produce handling, and sanitation.
Through questions and answers, this draft guidance will help farmers and educators understand FDA’s current thinking on factors that should be considered when either selecting or developing an alternate training curriculum from the one developed by the Produce Safety Alliance.