FSMA Produce Safety Inspections: What to Expect - West Coast Nut


FSMA Produce Safety Inspections: What to Expect

Published: September 19, 2019 • 908 views

Making the Grade


The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed in 2011 to help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks. Under the FSMA rules is the Preventive Controls Rule (PCR) which covers processors/handlers and the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) which covers farms. The PSR is being implemented in stages between 2019 and 2021 depending on farm size. In California, the FDA is contracting with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to conduct on-farm inspections to verify FSMA compliance. The CDFA has created the Produce Safety Program (PSP) to educate and assist growers in complying with PSR requirements.

Impact on Walnut Growers
All farms covered under the Produce Safety Rule must take several steps to comply with its requirements. Key steps include at least one farm representative completing a Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Course, recognized by the FDA. This training will inform how to implement required Produce Safety Rule food safety practices on farms and any needed documentation. The grower training course need only be taken once. The California Walnut Board (CWB) has sponsored complimentary grower trainings for the last 3 years. And while CWB has concluded the complimentary trainings, the CDFA is currently offering low cost, subsidized training courses throughout the state, a list of which can be found here, http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/producesafety/training.html

Growers can also participate in on-farm readiness review inspections, a ‘mock inspection’ if you will, to help them understand PSR requirements and prepare for the official inspection. The CDFA has clarified that any farm inspection will always be announced. If growers wish to receive updates about the PSP, they can sign up here: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/producesafety/mailinglist.html For additional PSR related questions, growers can also email: producesafety@cdfa.ca.gov.

(Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture Produce Safety Program: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/producesafety/)