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Farm Produce Safety Rule Is the New Standard


Published: Friday, March 9, 2018

The following is from Michelle Walk, Michigan State University Extension educator.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was enacted into law in 2011 and 2018 brings the first dates for compliance under the Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule includes standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human consumption and applies to individuals who sell produce.

Farms or operations that have a crop that is rarely consumed raw, is processed with a kill step or has produce sales less than $25,000 may be exempt from the rule. Most operations that are exempt still need to keep records to be able to prove they are exempt. Farms or operations that are covered under the rule have a variety of records that they are required to keep.

All growers should understand and implement practices to reduce food safety risks on the farm.

The first compliance was in January 2018 for businesses over $500,000. The compliance deadline for small businesses (over $250,000 - $500,000) is Jan. 28, 2019. And the last compliance date for very small businesses (greater than $25,000 - $250,000) is Jan. 27, 2020.

Under 112.22(c), farms covered under the rule need to have a supervisor or responsible party from their farm complete approved training. A Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course, currently the only approved training, will be held in Sault Ste. Marie on March 21. You can register as well as find other dates and locations for the training at https://events.anr.msu.edu/2018WinterPSA/.

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements. After attending the course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Assn. of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. Registration is required, but thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the training program and materials are provided at no cost.

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