On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed into law the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which aims to shift focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. In order to ensure that everyone from the farmer to the processor to the consumer are playing their role in keeping food safe, the FSMA required the FDA to proposed a set of rules authorized at the farm level: the Produce Rule regulates standards for produce production and the Preventive Controls Rule regulates food safety measure for facilities that process food for human consumption. These rules are still in the proposal stage so they are not signed into law yet, but if you own or operate a farm or small business it may be impacted should these rules pass. Read on to find out if or how you may be affected.
What It Is
The Produce Rule builds on existing voluntary industry guidelines for food safety currently followed by many producers, growers and others. The rule focuses on areas of risk such as agricultural water, biological soil amendments, health and hygiene, domesticated and wild animals and equipment, tools and buildings.
The Preventive Controls Rule will require facilities to have written plans in place that identify potential hazards, detail the necessary steps to address those hazards, verify that the steps are working and outline how to fix any problems that arise.
For more details click here.
How It Effects Producers and Processors
The Produce Rule may affect you if you grow, harvest, pack or store fruits or vegetables.
The Preventive Controls Rule may affect you if you process, manufacture, pack or store human food
Both the Produce Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule may affect you if you grow harvest, pack or store fruits and vegetables AND process, manufacture, pack or store human food
For details on who these rules may affect, click here.
Check out the FDA’s fact sheet on the FSMA proposed rules for a full summary, background and predicted impacts.
For guidance on creating your own food safety plan, check out FamilyFarmed.org’s page on how to create one.