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FDA adds states to support produce safety

July 16, 2018
See what states FDA has added to support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new cooperative agreements with Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi and American Samoa, as well as renewed agreements with 43 other states, to support implementation of the agency’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

In this third year of the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP), awardees are being provided resources to formulate and implement produce safety systems; develop and provide education, outreach, and technical assistance; deliver produce safety training; recruit personnel; and develop inventories of farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule to target outreach, education and inspection activities.

Funding can also be used by states to support the On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) program, a voluntary program to help farmers learn about the Produce Safety Rule and determine how prepared they are to comply with it.

Availability of CAP funding was first announced in March 2016. Bids were open to all states and US territories. The FDA announced the first cooperative agreements with $21.8 million for 42 states in September 2016, and the second-year agreements, which awarded $30.9 million to 43 states, were announced in July 2017. The FDA is now announcing $32.5 million in funding for the 46 states and one territory.

Successful implementation of the Produce Safety Rule depends on partnerships between the FDA and states, both to deliver education and technical assistance to farmers and to provide on-going inspections, compliance and oversight. The Produce Safety Rule, which the FDA completed in November 2015, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.

For large farming operations, the first major compliance date for produce other than sprouts was January 26, 2018. However, the FDA has said it will not enforce agricultural water requirements for produce other than sprouts while a rulemaking is underway that would extend compliance dates for those requirements). Routine inspections to assess compliance with the Produce Safety Rule for produce other than sprouts will not begin until 2019.

Access www.fda.gov/fsma for further details.

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