In 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major overhaul of national food safety rules in more than 75 years. At the direction of Congress, in January 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed food safety rules aimed at reducing incidences of food borne illness.
The proposed rule for Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, known as the produce safety rule, will apply to farms that grow, harvest, pack, and hold produce intended for raw consumption. In other words, produce that will undergo further processing or must be cooked before consuming (dry beans, potatoes, etc.) will not be covered under the produce safety rule. Instead, those foods will be regulated under the proposed rule for the Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls for Human Food, referred to as the preventative controls rule.
Once fully implemented, these rules will apply to about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, impacting growers, processors, and food businesses across Ohio and the nation. The FDA predicts that the cost for compliance could be higher than $12,000 for small farms and $30,000 for large farms. With so much on the line, the food and farming community has worked to ensure that diversified, sustainable, and organic farms are not saddled with one-size-fits-all regulations that are impractical and burdensome for smaller operations.
The FDA released revised proposed rules for the produce safety and preventative controls rules in September and the comment period ended in mid-December. The final rules are expected to be released by the end of 2015. OEFFA's current focus is to ensure that the Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) receives adequate funding. Providing training and support for farmers about the new food safety rules is absolutely critical to ensuring a safe food supply and smooth implementation. If you would like more details, including information on how to call your representative and encourage full funding for FSOP, contact OEFFA.
To read the full text of the revised produce safety rule, click here.
To read the full text of the revised preventative controls rule, click here.
Watch this webinar from December 1, presented by OEFFA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the University of Illinois Extension, to learn about what food safety rules means for farmers and local food.
The success of our policy work relies on OEFFA's dedicated members, who are leading the way to strong and healthy local food systems. For more information about OEFFA's policy work or to get involved, firstname.lastname@example.org (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.