Food Safety

Food safety is a term that encompasses all practices for growing, harvesting, and handling fresh produce to protect consumers from contracting food-borne illnesses. The federal government has set standards for these practices through the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The resources here can help farmers understand their FSMA obligations.

Fact Sheet: Get Ready for FSMA



Determine Your FSMA Status




Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are voluntary audits that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP audits are administered by the USDA. Many produce customers, such as wholesale suppliers and restaurants, require the farms that they purchase from to have GAP audits. To learn more about GAP audits, see the USDA GAP website.


From the Organic Broadcaster newspaper:


Produce growers:
Take steps now to comply with FSMA Produce Safety Rule
July | August 2018

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Regulation is the country’s first mandatory federal standard for the safe production of fruits and vegetables. It is being implemented in stages, with some rules in effect since 2016, and more taking effect in January 2019. Read more.


Vegetable growers get ready to meet new food safety rule
March | April 2018

If you’re a veggie farmer, you know it’s coming. Whether you’re the proactive type or the bury-your-head-in-the-sand type, the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is likely to affect you in the near future. Read more.


First compliance date for FSMA this month, enforcement in 2019
January | February 2018

The FDA is in a period of education and outreach right now, allowing farmers time to understand and comply with the rule without concern about penalties. This is a good time to study up on the rule and understand how FSMA affects you and your farm. Read more.



Additional Food Safety Resources:

Local Food Safety Collaborative
Produce Safety Alliance

Comments are closed.