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FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule: Does the rule apply to me?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is federal food safety legislation for fruit and vegetable farms. This rule sets federal regulatory standards for the production, harvest and handling of fruits and vegetables in an effort to prevent microbial contamination and reduce foodborne illnesses. Standards are established in the following major areas:

  • Worker training and health and hygiene.

  • Agricultural water.

  • Biological soil amendments of animal origin (manure).

  • Domesticated and wild animals.

  • Equipment, tools and buildings.

Is my farm covered by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule?

While food safety is important for all farms, the FSMA Produce Safety Rule regulation only applies to some farms. Definitions play a key role in understanding if your farm is subject to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule or not, so you will have to think about your own operation, read the rule and then determine if it applies to you.

There are several ways your farm or operation may be excluded or exempt from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Exclusions and exemptions are based on:

  • The type of food you grow.
  • Total annual sales of the food you grow.
  • Where you sell your food.
  • Who you sell food to.

For more information

Author: Annalisa Hultberg, Extension educator

Funding for this information was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. Additional support was provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Reviewed in 2021

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