The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will change the landscape of food safety in the produce industry for many Western Growers members and operations. Most of the changes will be born out of the companion rules for implementation that are currently under development.
There are two proposed rules: “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” (the Produce Rule) and “Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls for Human Food” (Preventive Controls Rule). Both rules will govern how domestic producers and handlers will grow, harvest, pack, process, ship, and handle fresh produce.
Two additional proposed rules will ensure foreign suppliers follow the same requirements adopted for domestic operations. Those rules are the proposed rule for “Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals” and the proposed rule on “Accreditation of Third Party Auditors.” Western Growers is in the process of developing comments on all four of these rules. Comment deadlines for the Produce and Preventive Controls rules and for the FSVP and 3rd Party Accreditation Rule are November 15th and November 26th, respectively. FDA has been visiting many areas of the country and holding both formal and informal sessions with growers and other interested parties as they seek to gather input to perfect these rules.
On October 22rd and 23nd, leaders from FDA will be in Long Beach to hold formal listening sessions on the FSVP and 3rd Party proposals.
Western Growers will then host an informal listening session with key FDA staff in the attendance on October 23rd in Bakersfield CA at 4:00 p.m. at The Petroleum Club, 5060 California Ave #12, Bakersfield, CA 93309, (661) 324-6561. Western Growers invites you to attend this meeting in which there will be a brief overview of the Produce Rule and then an opportunity for FDA to hear directly from you on how the current proposal may impact your operation. Please RSVP FOR THIS MEETING by Noon, October 21st.
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