The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the produce safety rule of the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2010 (FSMA) is now final, establishing minimum standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of raw produce for human consumption. Compliance dates are staggered but will affect large operations first.

The key requirements include: (i) establishment of criteria for microbial water quality based on the presence of E. coli; (ii) rules governing the use of raw manure and compost; (iii) testing and corrective-action requirements for cultivation of sprouts; (iv) rules for assessment of contamination by domestic livestock and wild animals; (v) measures for worker training, health and hygiene; and (vi) standards for equipment, tools and buildings. Qualified exemptions and variances are also included for small farms, tribes and foreign countries that export food to the United States.