Produce Safety Program
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) helps Kentucky produce growers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) and its Produce Safety Rule.
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011
The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 aims to prevent food contamination before it happens rather than responding after an outbreak of foodborne illness has occurred.
The Produce Safety Rule is the first set of federal regulatory standards for the production, harvest, and handling of fruits and vegetables. The Rule focuses on:
- Agriculture water
- Biological soil amendments
- Domesticated and wild animals
- Worker training and health and hygiene
- Equipment, tools, and buildings
The KDA is responsible for implementation of the Produce Safety Rule in Kentucky.
Who is covered, and who is exempt?
The FSMA Produce Safety Rule applies to any farm that annually grosses more than $25,000 in sales of produce, averaged across a rolling three-year period and adjusted for inflation (with 2011 as the baseline year).
The Produce Safety Rule does NOT apply to:
- Produce that is not a raw agricultural product (such as produce that has been processed), including commercially processed produce and commodities that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified as rarely consumed raw
- Produce that is used only for personal or on-farm consumption
- Food grains.
A farm may be eligible for a qualified exemption if it meets two requirements:
- The farm must have food sales averaging less than $500,000 per year during the previous three years; and
- The farm’s sales to qualified end-users must exceed sales to all others combined during the previous three years. A qualified end-user is either the consumer of the food or a restaurant or retail food establishment in the same state as the farm or not more than 275 miles away.
For more information about the Produce Safety Rule, click here.
When must my farm be in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule?
Deadlines for compliance are based on the size of each operation and divided by sprouts, produce, and water. For a full list of compliance dates, click here.
What training and resources are available?
Every farm that is covered under the Produce Safety Rule must have at least one person attend training provided by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA). The PSA is a collaboration of Cornell University, the FDA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides grower training to help fresh produce growers comply with the Produce Safety Rule.
The KDA conducts voluntary On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR) upon request. During an OFRR, KDA staff will come to a farm; assess the farm’s produce production, harvest, and handling operations; and make recommendations to help the farm comply with the Produce Safety Rule. You are not required to have taken the PSA training before undergoing an OFRR, but it is highly recommended.
The University of Kentucky’s Center for Crop Diversification offers training and resources to help growers assess their status under the FSMA as well as Produce Best Practices Training, consultation on third-party audits, and other topics.