The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed three final rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on produce safety, foreign supplier verification programs (FSVPs) and accredited third-party certification, all slated for publication in the November 27, 2015, edition of the Federal Register.
The agency will also hold a webinar series to discuss the new rules, which are intended to “establish enforceable safety standards for the production and harvesting of produce on farms and make importers accountable for the safety of the food they bring into the U.S.”
The produce safety rule addresses, among other things, (i) the quality and testing of agricultural water, (ii) biological soil amendments such as raw manure and stabilized compost, (iii) food safety requirements for sprouts, (iv) the management of domesticated and wild animals, (v) health, hygiene and worker training, and (vi) sanitation standards for equipment, tools and buildings. FDA also describes hazard analysis and supplier verification requirements for importers, as well as the accreditation procedures for third-party auditors. Effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, the rules establish final compliance dates ranging from one to three years depending on business size, type and other factors.