• FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce, meaning fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. Our detailed summary of the rule is available here.
  • On September 5, 2017, FDA announced the availability of a Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) to help small businesses comply with the Produce Safety Rule mandated by FSMA. In particular, the SECG is designed to help farmers determine whether they are eligible for a qualified exemption, which would modify the requirements they are subject to under the Produce Safety Rule.
  • The main compliance dates for small businesses and very small businesses under the Produce Safety Rule are January 28, 2019, and January 27, 2020, respectively, but certain agricultural water requirements have extended compliance dates (see previous blog coverage here). Sprout operations also have different compliance dates, and sprout operations that are small businesses and very small businesses have compliance dates of January 26, 2018, and January 28, 2019, respectively. Businesses that intend to claim a qualified exemption by their primary compliance date were required to begin keeping documentation supporting their eligibility for a qualified exemption on January 26, 2016.