Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate food from farm to fork, which enables the FDA to better protect the public by strengthening the food safety system. FSMA was signed into law on January 4, 2011, and represents the nation’s largest overhaul of the federal food safety laws since 1938. The goal is to prevent foodborne outbreaks before they occur by taking proactive measures and shifting from a reactionary approach to a proactive approach.  FSMA has created seven (7) new federal rules that address produce, human food, animal food, transportation, and imported food. 

Produce Safety Rule (PSR)

The Produce Safety Rule is part of FSMA and establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. As of January 26, 2016, this rule is in effect and compliance dates for some parts of the rule are already underway, with full compliance for many farms starting in January 2018. 

Compliance Dates

Compliance dates for covered activities, except for those involving sprouts are:

  • Exempt from the regulation—Less than $25,000 in annual average produce sales for the preceding three years.
  • Very small businesses—Greater than $25,000 but less than $250,000 in annual average produce sales in the preceding three years; “Very Small” farm, produce regulation compliance start date January 27, 2020.
  • Small businesses—Greater than $250,000 but less than $500,000 in annual average produce sales in the preceding three years; “Small farm”, produce regulation compliance start date January 28, 2019. 
  • Large businesses—Greater than $500,000 in annual average produce sales in the preceding three years; “All Others”, produce regulation compliance start date January 26, 2018.

Compliance dates for the water quality standards, have been extended.  The FDA is exploring alternative standards for the agricultural water requirements established by FSMA after receiving feedback from stakeholders. 

Do I need to Comply?

Many, if not all, farm operations will be impacted by at least part of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, even farm operations that are very small. To help determine whether your farm operation is covered under this new rule, please visit http://bit.ly/psrdecisiontool and go through a self-guided anonymous online decision tool.  If you know you are covered under this rule, please contact ISDA for more information or visit https://isda.idaho.gov/fsma/survey.

The ISDA and University of Idaho Extension encourage all who may be affected by this rule to educate themselves about FSMA. There are many exemptions to the Produce Safety Rule.  Compliance dates, exemptions, and more information on the rule can be viewed on the FDA website.

Idaho Produce Safety Decision Tool

In order to help farm operations covered by the rule come into compliance with the requirements, ISDA needs to identify farms that are exempt, and farms that are covered.   To help farms determine coverage under this rule and to educate farms covered by this rule, ISDA’s grant partner UI Extension created an anonymous decision tool.  After answering brief questions specific to your farm operation, you may determine that you are likely covered by the Produce Safety Rule.  If you are “likely covered” by the rule, we encourage you to contact ISDA to learn about training opportunities and other educational resources to make a smoother transition into this complex regulation.   

Anonymous Decision Tool link: http://bit.ly/psrdecisiontool

Produce Safety Rule Key Requirements

The Produce Safety Rule is broken into six key requirements:

  • Agricultural Water
  • Biological Soil Amendments
  • Sprouts
  • Domesticated and Wild Animals
  • Worker Training and Health and Hygiene
  • Equipment, Tools and Buildings

Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Role

The ISDA, through an FDA grant, has been working to understand the scope of produce grown in Idaho that is covered by the Produce Safety Rule.  The goal of this grant is to implement an integrated food-safety program that will prevent or significantly reduce the likelihood of a foodborne illness through standardized and consistent implementation of the Produce Safety Rule.

Throughout this year and the next several years, ISDA and grant partner, University of Idaho(UI) Extension, will be working together to provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to the produce industry to help them comply with the Produce Safety Rule. 

ISDA formed a FSMA advisory committee in 2015 to help provide leadership and guidance to Idaho agencies on the implementation of the FSMA rules.  Members include legislators and representatives from each sector of the agriculture industry and businesses that may be affected by FSMA.  This committee is essential to the implementation of the Produce Safety Rule in Idaho. 

State Partners-University of Idaho Extension’s Role

UI Extension, in partnership with ISDA, is working to meet the education and outreach needs of the Idaho produce industry. Funding through this collaboration has enabled Extension to hire one full-time Associate Extension Educator and to train and certify faculty members across the state to deliver FDA approved Produce Safety Alliance courses at a significantly reduced cost and conduct voluntary on-farm readiness reviews with farm operations prior to inspection.

We encourage you to access UI Extension’s new FSMA Produce Safety website: http://www.uidaho.edu/extension/produce-safety, which features the self-guided, anonymous decision tool for determining likely compliance or exemption status. Work has also begun identifying and developing supplemental instructional materials, videos, and Idaho-specific communications to assist farm operations in implementing practices for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce covered by the rule. 

Produce Safety Alliance Training

What is the Produce Safety Alliance?

The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is a collaborative between Cornell University, FDA, and USDA to prepare produce growers, to meet the regulatory requirements included in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.  The PSA overarching objective is to provide the produce industry and associated groups with training and educational opportunities related to current best practices and guidance.  Currently, PSA training is the only training recognized as adequate by the FDA. 

Produce Safety Alliance Training in Idaho

Produce Safety Alliance training is the only standardized national training program approved by FDA to prepare produce operations in meeting the regulatory requirements in FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Trained and certified staff from ISDA and grant partner UI Extension are providing Produce Safety Alliance training courses statewide this fall and winter. This eight (8) hour, one-day Grower Training Course will cover key areas and requirements of the Produce Safety Rule including:

  1. Introduction to Produce Safety
  2. Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  3. Soil Amendments
  4. Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  5. Agricultural Water
  6. Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  7. How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

For more information on training requirements, dates, locations, cost, and registration in Idaho please visit www.idahoproducesafety.eventbrite.com or contact Rebecca Mills with UI Extension for more information. 

Training Dates

Location

Date

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Twin Falls, Idaho

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Caldwell, Idaho

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Caldwell, Idaho

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Payette, Idaho

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Post Falls, Idaho

Friday, February 23, 2018

Moscow, Idaho

Saturday, February 24, 2018

For additional training dates and locations throughout the United States please visit the Produce safety Alliance website at https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/training/grower-training-courses/upcoming-grower-trainings.  

Meet the Trainers

ISDA Staff:

Pamela Juker, Chief of Staff, FSMA Administrator, ISDA

Pamm Juker joined the Idaho State Department of Agriculture in 2007. She has a broad scope of experience in management, with specific experience in leading special projects and developing and implementing new programs within the agency. In 2013, Pamm took the lead on FSMA for the ISDA has been a critical link between the development of rules and Idaho stakeholders and producers.  She has worked with FDA and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture on a national implementation framework and continues to facilitate the education of Idaho stakeholders on rule requirements.  Pamm grew up on a farm in southern Idaho and brings that experience along with FDA sanctioned trainings in Human and Animal Food preventive controls, Produce Safety Alliance Train-the-Trainer and Grower Training Certifications.  Pamm has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration from Boise State University.

Brigitta Gruenberg, FSMA Program Manager, ISDA

Brigitta Gruenberg joined the Idaho State Department of Agriculture in January of 2017 with 12 years of experience in Environmental and Occupational Health.  Brigitta Gruenberg is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), with the National Environmental Health Association.  She has experience inspecting food establishments, inspecting and overseeing local public water systems, teaching Servsafe courses, and inspecting food processing/manufacturing facilities. Brigitta received her Master of Education degree in Industrial Technology from University of Idaho and her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from Boise State University. 

UI Extension Staff:

Dr Barbara Rasco is a Professor and Director of the School of Food Science, a joint program between the University of Idaho and Washington State University. She is a licensed attorney specializing in food law. Her Doctorate is in food science and BS in chemical engineering.  Dr Rasco has taught food safety, food technology and quality management for over thirty years across the USA and around the world. Dr Rasco is internationally recognized for her work in food safety and analysis and food value chains. She is a Fellow with the Institute of Food Technologists and recipient of their Elizabeth Fleming Stier Award for Humanitarian Service. Dr. Rasco is a lead instructor for the Preventive Controls for Human Foods Rule, Preventive Controls for Animal Food Rule, and a Produce Safety Rule trainer.

Dr. Stephanie Smith is an Assistant Professor and Food Safety Specialist at Washington State University. She educates people and helps officials and Extension faculty in Washington’s 39 counties and one tribal office and across the Pacific Northwest, with the aim of keeping people safe and healthy. Dr. Smith earned her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in microbiology and a Doctorate in environmental science, with an emphasis on environmental microbiology and toxicology. Stephanie conducted postdoctoral work at the WSU/University of Idaho School of Food Science. She is a lead instructor for the Produce Safety Rule and for the Preventive Controls for Human Foods Rule.

News/FSMA Updates

For the current news, updates to the rule, and events on FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule, please subscribe on the FDA website at https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/. At the bottom of the page enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box and click subscribe.

In addition to subscribing for FDA updates, please check the ISDA webpage frequently for any updates to the rule. 

Water regulation update:

FDA Considering Simplifying Agricultural Water Standards

FDA Commissioner Addresses State Agriculture Commissioners; Announces New Steps to Enhance Collaboration with States and Ensure Farmers are Prepared for FSMA.

Ag Water Compliance dates:
FDA issued a proposed rule that would extend the compliance dates for ag water requirements.  Proposed ag water compliances dates are as follows:
Largest farms – January 26, 2022 
Small farms – January 26, 2023
Very small farms -  January 26, 2024

Ag Water Testing Methods:
FDA listed eight additional testing methods determined to be equivalent to the original requirement (Method 1603)

Produce Farm Inspections:

Inspections to assess compliance with the non-water requirements of the Produce Safety Rule, other than sprouts, will not begin until 2019.

Click the link below for full details.

https://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm575532.htm

FDA Released Compliance Guide for Small Businesses under FSMA Produce Safety Rule:
The Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) is designed to help small businesses meet federal standards.  This guide provides information that can help small and very small businesses understand how the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule apply to them.  This guide can help farmers determine if they are eligible for a qualified exemption. 

What You Need to Know About the FDA Regulation

Resources

FDA

Produce Safety Alliance

ISDA and UI Extension

Contact Information

Who do I contact?

ISDA
Please contact ISDA for assistance with regulations, compliance, outreach, and education.

UI Extension
Please contact UI Extension for assistance with education, training, and technical assistance.

 

ISDA Contacts

Pamm Juker
ISDA Chief of Staff
pamela.juker@isda.idaho.gov
(208) 332-8671

Brigitta Gruenberg
ISDA, FSMA Program Manager
brigitta.gruenberg@isda.idaho.gov
(208) 332-8698

ISDA Questions:
fsma@isda.idaho.gov

UI Extension Contacts

Colette DePhelps
UI Extension, Northern District
cdephelps@uidaho.edu

Ariel Agenbroad
UI Area Extension Educator
Southern Idaho
ariel@uidaho.edu

Rebecca Mills
UI Associate Extension Educator
rmills@uidaho.edu