February 1, 2018
The first major compliance date for the Produce Safety Rule under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) arrived on January 26, 2018, when larger farms must comply with the rule that, for the first time, establishes science-based standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables.
Routine inspections under the Produce Safety Rule will not begin until the spring of 2019 to give both farmers and state regulators more guidance, training, technical assistance, and planning and ensure that they have the tools they need.
Sprout growers have already had to meet the requirements specific to them. But for all other farming operations, January 26, 2018 was the first of the major compliance dates that are staggered based on farm size. Small and very small farming operations must comply with applicable standards in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
So what do farmers need to know about this January compliance date? Samir Assar, Ph.D., the director of FDA’s Division of Produce Safety in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, explains what will happen in this next stage of implementing the FSMA rule entitled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.”
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