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New Survey Results Highlight Variation in Food Safety Practices Prior to the Produce Rule

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  • Published: 2018-08-20
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  • Language: English
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Introduction
      The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most significant change to U.S. food safety laws over the previous 70 years. One piece of this legislation, the Produce Rule (PR), sets specific disease-preventive requirements for produce that is consumed raw in the United States. These include personnel qualifications and training; health and hygiene; water application; manure products; animal contamination and harvesting; equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation; and recordkeeping. Enacted in phases beginning in January 2018 for produce growers with more than $500,000 in annual produce sales, with later compliance dates for other groups and other requirements, the PR is the first Federal law covering onfarm food safety for produce.
      A baseline of practices used by growers prior to PR implementation is required to understand the the PR’s effects. The last national survey on food safety in produce took place in 1999, when limited knowledge existed about the possibility of microbial contamination in produce. Anticipating the PR’s implementation, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and ERS teamed to conduct the 2015/16 Produce Grower Food Safety Practices Survey.
 
 
 
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