The Law of the Produce Safety Rule

Course Code: FSC 853

Credits: 3 credits

IFLR partners with MSU Extension to include an optional Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training portion within this course. Students who opt-in and successfully meet all criteria will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), in collaboration with the Produce Safety Alliance.  The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course content is specifically designed to provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) which emphasizes both food safety and environmental management goals, while outlining the requirements mandated in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Students will learn how to identify and reduce risks by drafting farm food safety plans.  The focus from farm to fork enhances overall marketplace safety.

This course also prepares industry professionals to take on regulatory leadership within their organizations, by providing an overview of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), industry, consumer interest groups, and scientific communities. Students will learn the major provisions of the rule, evaluate FDA’s limitations, examine current issues in food law, and explore the intersection of science and law. 

Students participating in the AFDO Produce Safety Alliance Certificate component are required to attend online Zoom sessions on Monday nights at 6:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Time) for 8-10 weeks.

Topics covered include the following:

  • Overview of FSMA
  • Introduction to Produce Safety and Risk Assessment for Public Health
  • Worker Health Hygiene and Training Practices
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water, Production Water, and Post Harvest Water
  • Post-Harvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
  • Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
  • Covered Facilities and Variances
  • Withdrawal of a Qualified Facility Exemption
  • Compliance and Enforcement


This course is offered in the fall semester of even-numbered years. 

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