Fresh produce plays an important part of an overall healthy diet. While millions of servings of fresh produce are consumed safely every day, recent outbreaks of foodborne illness have once again placed produce safety in the spotlight. We must continue to build upon and implement the science- and risk-based controls envisioned by Congress through the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), including those set forth in the Produce Safety Rule.
Last year was the first in which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and our state regulatory counterparts began conducting routine inspections of large farms for this rule established by FSMA. (In general, we’re not addressing sprouts operations here, which have additional requirements and earlier compliance dates.) Leading up to 2019, the agency has collaborated with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and our state partners to help prepare farmers to comply with the rule. We have also supported states in the development of their own produce safety programs.