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David Sparks Ph.d New food safety rules
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: November 13, 2017

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Farmers will soon be hearing a lot more about the Food Safety Modernization Act and the fact that on-farm inspections are on the horizon. Mandatory routine produce farm inspections nationwide are coming, conducted either by FDA or the states. With FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule focusing on prevention of food borne illnesses, the training required of all affected farms will center on those critical areas where raw fruits and vegetables might become contaminated. Page has two pieces of advice to growers: “Figure out whether you are covered by the rule and which compliance dates apply to you, and get the required training.”

FDA has delayed on-farm inspections until 2019 for all farms, but for the largest operations, implementation of the rule begins this coming January.

SUE DAVIS, a produce safety development specialist with ODA, says outreach and education of FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule is critical right now for fruit and vegetable growers: “All farms are essentially subject to these rules and they are required to comply with them. Over time, there will be routine produce farm inspections conducted either by FDA or by states.”

DAVIS says the response to the Produce Safety Rule by growers varies:

“There are some people who have been tracking it closely and have already gone through even train the trainer training so they can inform their industries about what’s happening and there are others, I think, who kind of hoped it would just go away and are realizing rather suddenly that they have a whole body of knowledge that they need to take onboard.”

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