Representatives from ApRecs recently joined peers from across the United States and South America in Salinas, CA at the GLOBALG.A.P. US Technical Committee work shop. We participated in an in depth workshop to harmonize the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce rule with the GLOBALG.A.P. v5 Scheme and are pleased to report that for those involved with GLOBAL.G.A.P., compliance with FSMA (and specifically the Produce Rule) will not be a difficult task.
Our goal is to make compliance with FSMA easy for growers and processors who are already demonstrating safety and sustainability compliance via the globally accepted GLOBALG.A.P. Standard we met with Advisors, Growers, Auditors, Academics and Retailers from around the globe to align our perceptions and define next steps for a consolidated compliance report for GLOBAL.G.A.P producers, certification bodies and retailers.
What Is FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act)?
This regulation is all about setting a federal regulatory standards for the growing, harvest, and processing of fruits and vegetables. The goal is to prevent microbial contamination and reduce foodborne illnesses associated with fresh produce that is grown or imported into the United States.
What does the FSMA Produce Safety Rule Encompass?
The Produce Safety Rule (Section 105 of FSMA), establishes science-based minimum standards for safe production and harvesting of fresh fruits and vegetables. The standards are based on Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.s). The Produce Safety Rule is divided into six sections, including:
1. Worker health, hygiene, and training
2. Agricultural water, both for production and post-harvest uses
3. Biological soil amendments (e.g., compost, manure)
4. Domesticated and wild animals
5. Equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation
6. Production of sprouts
The FDA has a brief on the key requirements of Produce Safety Rule on their website.