FDA provides funds to help produce rule implementation

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

Related tags: Food safety

More than $21m has been made available to support states with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said $21.8m will help 42 states to help implement the rule, which was finalized in November 2015.

It establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.

“As efforts for a nationally integrated food safety system advance, this funding will play a vital role in establishing programs at the state level to educate growers and provide technical assistance to ensure high rates of compliance with the produce safety rule​,” said Melinda Plaisier, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs at the FDA.

The cooperative agreement between FDA and the states provides resources to create a multi-year plan for a produce safety system, develop and provide education, outreach and technical assistance and develop programs to address the needs of growers in their farming communities.

FDA said state agencies are important because they have a better understanding and knowledge of specific growing and harvesting practices in their areas and long standing relationships with produce growers and associations.

The funding opportunity is for five years, subject to the availability of money from Congress.

Dr Stephen Ostroff, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, said the states were key partners to the FDA as FSMA’s produce safety provisions were being developed.

“A robust federal-state partnership in produce safety will help protect American consumers from foodborne illness and benefit public health.”

Larger farms will need to comply with certain aspects of the rule requirements from January 2018, with smaller produce operations having additional time.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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