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Food Safety: New Proposed Produce and Preventative Controls Rules

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 comment period for the proposed rules ended on November 22, 2013. Nearly 15,000 comments were submitted in response to the proposed produce safety rule and more than 7,000 comments were received regarding the preventative controls rule. The FDA is now reviewing these comments and posting them online.

Learn More About the Produce Safety Rule

  • Watch OEFFA's webinar, "Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules: Main Issues for Farmers," led by Ariane Lotti of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. To watch the webinar recording, click here. To view the webinar PowerPoint, click here.
  • Growers that are covered under the produce rule will have to comply with a new set of regulations. To learn more about those regulations, read the FDA's factsheet on the produce safety rule.
  • Many growers who thought they would be exempt may be subject to portions of the new produce safety rule regulations. To learn more about whether the new rules will apply to your farm, click here.
  • To read the FDA's Frequently Asked Questions about the produce safety rule, click here
  • To read the full text of the produce safety rule, click here

Learn More About the Preventative Controls Rule

  • Watch OEFFA's webinar, "Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rules: Main Issues for Farmers," led by Ariane Lotti of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. To watch the webinar recording, click here. To view the webinar PowerPoint, click here.
  • Operations that are covered under the preventative controls rule will have to comply with a new set of regulations. To learn more about those regulations, visit FDA's overview of the preventative controls rule.
  • Operations that handle food that is processed or cooked prior to consumption will be covered under the preventative controls rule. To learn more about who is covered, click here.
  • To read the FDA's Frequently Asked Questions about the preventative controls rule, click here.
  • To read the full text of the preventative controls rule, click here.

Take Action!

The comment period on the proposed rules ended on November 22. To read OEFFA's comments to the FDA, click here. To read OEFFA's earlier comments from an FDA listening session, click here.


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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, contact policy@oeffa.org or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.