Produce Safety Rule compliance guide issued for small businesses
The FDA has issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG), to help small businesses comply with the Produce Safety Rule mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) standards. The “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: What You Need to Know About the FDA Regulation” guide is available for download on the FDA website.
The SECG provides information that can help small and very small businesses understand how the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule apply to them. Specifically, the SECG can help farmers determine whether they are eligible for a qualified exemption, which would modify the requirements they are subject to under the Produce Safety Rule. The SECG can also help them understand those modified requirements.
The SECG was prepared in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act. The main compliance dates for small businesses and very small businesses under the Produce Safety Rule are January 28, 2019, and January 27, 2020, respectively, but certain agricultural water requirements have extended compliance dates. Sprout operations also have different compliance dates, and sprout operations that are small businesses and very small businesses have compliance dates of January 26, 2018, and January 28, 2019, respectively.
Businesses that intend to claim a qualified exemption by their primary compliance date were required to begin keeping documentation supporting their eligibility for a qualified exemption on January 26, 2016.
Visit www.fda.gov/fsma for more information about the FSMA rules and compliance dates.