FDA Publishes Guidance Document on How to Choose Alternate Curricula for Produce Safety Training

June 3, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a draft guidance that, when finalized, will help farmers and educators utilize alternate curricula to meet certain training requirements of the Produce Safety Rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce grown for human consumption. The rule requires that at least one supervisor or responsible party successfully complete food safety training that is at least equivalent to the FDA-recognized curriculum developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA). The standardized curriculum covers fundamental food safety topics related to produce and the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. Covered farms are not required to use the standardized curriculum and may use alternate curricula that is at least equivalent.

In the draft guidance, the FDA has recognized as adequate version 1.1 of the standardized curriculum developed by the Produce Safety Alliance. This curriculum was developed in careful consultation with and review by the FDA. The curriculum covers fundamental food safety topics including an introduction to produce safety, worker health and hygiene, training, wildlife and domesticated animals, land use, produce handling, and sanitation.

Through questions and answers, this draft guidance will help farmers and educators understand FDA’s current thinking on factors that should be considered when either selecting or developing an alternate training curriculum from the one developed by the Produce Safety Alliance.

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