The next step to FSMA compliance: On-Farm Readiness Review

How ready are you to being Food Safety Modernization Act Produce (FSMA)-compliant? Find out with the On-Farm Readiness Review.

April 10, 2018 - Author: Phil Tocco,

Many fresh produce growers have heard of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and may know one or two things about it, but not much more. Informational meetings might have provided a little understanding of what you might need to do, but you may not know just how ready you are if an inspection needed to take place.

In an effort to get people ready for a full implementation of FSMA, Cooperative Extension and State Departments of Agriculture have teamed up with Conservation Districts to develop an On-Farm Readiness Review. This review will allow you to walk through your operation, step-by-step, and see what you’re doing right, what you need to improve and problem-solve with trained professionals about how to inexpensively change if necessary to meet the new food safety requirements. This is a confidential service, so what happens on the farm stays on the farm. Best of all, it is no cost to growers.

A key starting point to doing the On-Farm Readiness Review is attending the Produce Safety Alliance Produce training. This is a one-day course offered by Michigan State University Extension. This course introduces the key concepts about food safety the rule regulates. After attending this course, you will receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials.

Once the training is complete, contact your local Conservation District office about scheduling a visit with one of four specially trained district technicians spread around the state. These technicians will walk your through a series of questions to determine your readiness. Likely, after the review, you may have some things to do. If you feels it’s needed, a follow-up visit can be scheduled to look at changes made or get more information about a particularly challenging issue. After the review, you can have confidence you are ready for an inspection, should it occur.

If you have specific questions about the On-Farm Readiness Review or have difficulty tailoring GAPs to your farm, contact the Michigan State University Extension Agrifood Safety Work Group at or 517-788-4292.

Funding for this article was made possible in part by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in the written materials do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.

Tags: agriculture, agrifood safety, apples, berries, blueberries, business, cherries, chestnuts, food business & regulation, fruit & nuts, grapes, msu extension, organic agriculture, peaches, produce safety rule training and certification, vegetables

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