The Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule
Limited resources are available for extension personnel to distribute to stakeholders seeking information on the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and its seven different rules: Produce Safety Rule, Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule, Preventative Controls for Animal Food Rule, Foreign Supplier Verification Program for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals, Accredited Third-Party Certification Rule, Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration Rule, and Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule. Of the seven different rules associated with FSMA, the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) will evoke the most changes of stakeholders. The PSR is the first time the produce industry will be required to meet specific food safety standards. Therefore, this project constructed four educational publications focused on providing an overview of FSMA’s PSR and also the key components (including worker training, health and hygiene; domestic and wild animals; and agricultural water). The publications were developed to be resources for both extension personnel and the produce stakeholders they serve. Additionally, these educational publications were distributed to Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) agents for evaluation on their usefulness. The majority of VCE agents who reviewed the material responded that the publications were appropriate, useful and served their needs. It is recommended that future publications (e.g., biological soil amendments, equipment/tool/building sanitation) be developed to address other key components of the PSR not covered under this project.