On November 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued food safety rules which, for the first time, apply to produce farms. The new rules, known as the Produce Safety Rule provide for
- regulation, testing and oversight of produce farms’ water quality
- labeling and record retention
- soil amendment and harvesting
- the exposure of crops to domesticated and wild animals
- farm worker training, health and hygiene
- storage, maintenance, and cleaning of farm equipment, tools and buildings
The compliance dates for the requirements of the new rule take effect in varying timeframes ranging from January 26, 2016 to January 26, 2021. In the coming months and years, the Agriculture & Agribusiness Industry Team of Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge will be providing additional insights, news and seminar opportunities to help farmers and the food supply chain learn how the new rule impacts their operations and implement compliance measures.