Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Proposed revision to Produce Safety Rule agricultural water requirements — comment period open through April 5

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing a revision of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule that would change the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule (other than sprouts). Most California fruit, vegetable and nut farms are covered by the Produce Safety Rule, including those with more than $25,000 in average annual produce sales, with some exceptions.

FDA’s proposed revision is intended to address stakeholder concerns about the complexity and practical implementation of certain pre-harvest agricultural water requirements. The proposed revision does not change requirements for agricultural water used during and after harvest, or for sprouts. It would introduce a systems-based, pre-harvest agricultural water assessment to evaluate potential hazards and guide risk management decision-making on the farm. Public comments about the FDA’s proposed revision may be submitted via the Federal Register until April 5, 2022.

In California, the Produce Safety Rule is regulated on FDA’s behalf by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Produce Safety Program. During the proposed revision’s comment period and until the FDA rulemaking process has been completed, CDFA’s Produce Safety Program will maintain the current inspection process related to this section of the Produce Safety Rule.

Visit CDFA’s Produce Safety Program webpage for more information about farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule.

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