November 16, 2018
For the first time, farmers growing fresh fruits and vegetables have a new resource to better understand Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) requirements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued comprehensive draft guidance that includes recommendations and examples on how to comply with PSR requirements in a newly released document. Vermont's Produce Program at the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is asking farmers, producers, educators and service providers to contribute.
"As we work to grow the Vermont produce industry, we encourage farmers, educators and service providers to take a look at the draft guidance provided by the FDA and weigh in. This will be an important tool to help our farms comply with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule," said Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets, Anson Tebbetts.
The Draft Guidance for Industry on the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption was released in October 2018, and is open for public comments for 180 days, ending on April 22, 2019. Access the complete draft guidance on FDA's website: https://go.usa.gov/xPfej
FDA is holding four public meetings across the U.S. to receive comments in person from farmers, educators, and service providers impacted by the Rule. The northeastern public meeting will be held on December 11th in Albany, NY. Visit the registration page at https://go.usa.gov/xPfe4 for further details.
It's important to note that the draft guidance is not a legally binding document, however it is a useful resource for industry to better understand FDA's current thinking on many topics, including for example methods for cleaning food contact surfaces, employee training requirements, and guidelines for monitoring domestic and wild animal intrusion on the farm.
You can submit your comments and questions in several ways:
1. Submit electronic comments to https://www.regulations.gov.
Search for: The Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Guidance for Industry Draft Guidance and click "Comment Now!"
2. Submit written comments to Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number FDA-2018-D-3631 listed in the notice of availability that publishes in the Federal Register.
3. Attend the public meeting in person/via webinar to discuss Draft Guidance for Industry on the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.
Date: December 11th, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Location: Hilton Albany 40 Lodge St., Albany, NY 12207. Register at: https://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/WorkshopsMeetingsConferences/ucm624499.htm.
Source: Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
Last Updated at: November 16, 2018 15:20:17