Rachel RespondsSeptember 22, 2018

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Question:

Do I have to comply with FSMA?

Answer:

The FSMA has two mail rules that apply to sustainable farms: 

(1) the Produce Rule, which mandates certain practices for growing and handling crops, and 

(2) the Preventative Controls Rule, which requires food facilities to implement writeen preventative controls and practices.

You do not have to comply with the Produce rule if your average produce sales are $25,000 or less per year. If your total food sales are up to $500,000 per year, and kept local or direct-to-consumer, FSMA requires that you keep records and label your products or post signs. Farms above the $500,000 threshold or who market outside the bounds of local or to wholesalers must comply with additional rules, including testing water sources and keeping specific records.

You do not have to comply with the Preventive Controls Rule if all your food-related activities occur on your farm, and any processing, packing and holding you perform is limited and non-hazardous in nature (such as drying herbs.) this rule is complicated and most farms will need to work thorugh a detailed flowchart to get specific answers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Read through Farm Commons' Whether and When Farms Must Comply with FSMA: Flowchart and watch Farm Commons' webinar Food Safety Liability and Regulations: FSMA and Beyond, especially the FSMA section.

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