Growers may have a lot of questions about the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule now that it is final.
The goal of the produce safety rule is to prevent food safety risks in the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fresh produce. The rule sets standards for personnel qualifications and training; health and hygiene; agricultural water; biological soil amendments of animal origin; domesticated and wild animals; growing, harvesting, packing and holding activities; equipment, tools and building; and recordkeeping.
The rule was effective beginning Jan. 26, 2016, but farms will need to be in full compliance at different times depending on their operations. Michigan State University Extension has created this chart to show compliance deadlines for different-sized farms.
Exempt growers must have records on file supporting their eligibility as an exempt farm by Jan. 26, 2016. These growers must also review their status annually and maintain records of this review and their continued eligibility.
Whether you have one year or five before you need to comply, now is the time to start reviewing your food safety practices. For assistance, contact an Iowa GAPs team member.