Produce Safety Rule

Produce Safety Rule

The Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (Produce Safety)  final rule establishes, for the first time, mandatory food safety practices for farms, both foreign and domestic, that grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce for consumption in the U.S.  With the exception of specific commodities that are rarely eaten raw or will be treated for pathogens later during processing, most fresh produce will be covered. 

The new food safety requirements roughly resemble the voluntary Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and fall into six categories: (1) working training and hygiene; (2) agricultural water; (3) biological soil amendments; (4) domesticated and wild animals on the farm; (5) equipment, tools, and buildings; and (6) sprouts.  Farms must document these food safety practices and make those records available to FDA.  In addition, FDA claims the authority to inspect any farm for compliance with the new requirements.

Update ( 11/27/2015): On November 27, 2015, three Final Rules were published to the Federal Register: Accredited Third-Party Certification, Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals.


Important Dates: The earliest compliance date for most entities will be two (2) years and 60 days after the effective date of the final rule, with up to four (4) years and 60 days for very small businesses. Also, all farms will have an additional two (2) years to comply with certain water-related requirements. For Compliance periods, go to the GMA Resource section below.


Links to GMA Resources:

In-Depth Analysis of the Original Produce Safety Proposed Rule
United Fresh Comments on the Original Produce Safety Proposed Rule (supported by GMA)
In-Depth Analysis of the Supplemental Produce Safety Rule
FSMA Timeline and Milestones
GMA Reference Sheet for FSMA Compliance Dates
GMA Summary Reference Sheet for FSMA Compliance Dates
Hogan Lovells

Links to FSMA Documents:

Full Text of the Original Produce Safety Proposed Rule
Full Text of the Supplemental Produce Safety Rule
Full Text of the Final Produce Safety Rule
Redlined Supplemental Produce Safety Rule
Original Produce Safety PRIA
Supplemental Produce Safety PRIA

Links to FDA Resources:

FDA’s Produce Safety  Rule page
Produce Safety Rule Docket

Contact Information: Kristen Spotz

Disclaimer: The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. GMA does not advise on the application of law to an individual’s or company’s specific circumstances.  Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.