Missouri Produce Safety Program
Have you registered?
Produce growers who complete the voluntary Grower Inventory Registration will help themselves and the Department determine if they are exempt, qualified exempt, or covered by the Produce Safety Rule. In addition, the information gathered through the registration will also allow the Department to better assist growers by determining training locations and providing farm visits, notification of trainings, and On-Farm Readiness Reviews.
What is the new rule?
In 2011, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to better protect public health by helping ensure food safety at each step of production. The FDA Produce Safety Rule is part of FSMA and focuses on science-based minimum standards for safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
How is the Missouri Department of Agriculture involved in produce safety?
The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is working with FDA and growers so FSMA requirements can be met before the compliance dates by:
- Developing a Grower Inventory – FDA requires that the state develop and maintain an inventory of growers that are subject to the rule. Not all farms are subject to the rule and there are a number of exemptions so growers should use FDA’s Produce Safety Rule Decision Tree, to determine whether their farm is covered by the rule. If they are covered by the rule or are not sure, they can assist MDA by completing the Grower Inventory Registration.
- Providing Grower Training – Participation in a recognized Produce Safety Alliance training is required for growers that are covered by the Produce Safety Rule. MDA is working with University of Missouri Extension and Lincoln University Extension to offer opportunities for growers to learn about produce safety and to meet this requirement.
- Conducting Farm Reviews - On-Farm Readiness Reviews are a way for growers to have their specific practices reviewed and receive guidance to help them reach full compliance before regulatory inspections begin. The development of the On-Farm Readiness Reviews is underway nationally and more information will be posted here when finalized.