Before implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule: A Survey of U.S. Produce Growers | TheFencePost.com

Before implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule: A Survey of U.S. Produce Growers

-Economic Research Service, USDA

Small farms required more changes to meet the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule standards than large farms, according to a new report from Economic Research Service, Before Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Rule: A Survey of U.S. Product Growers.

FSMA is the most significant change to U.S. food safety laws in over 70 years. Though enacted in 2011, it has yet to fully take effect. One piece of this legislation, commonly referred to as the "Produce Rule" (PR), was the first onfarm U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation for produce to be sold and consumed raw in the United States and set specific disease-preventive requirements governing a wide range of practices. These include personnel qualifications and training; health and hygiene; water application; manure products; animal contamination and harvesting; equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation; and recordkeeping. Some PR requirements are already in effect for larger growers, and the last compliance deadline for smaller growers is January 2020. These deadlines do not include compliance dates for water requirements that have been unofficially proposed through 2024.

Before the rule was implemented, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service teamed with USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service to survey produce growers about their food safety practices. Based on these survey data, this report provides USDA's first update of national food safety practices since 1999 and since microbial contamination of produce became widely recognized and researched. The report reveals work yet to be done in training and implementation of food safety practices, as the PR implementation moves forward.

For additional information, please view the report. If you have any questions, you can contact Nancy McNiff at (202) 694-5106 or the lead author, Gregory Astill at (202) 694-5583 or gregory.astill@ers.usda.gov.