Microbial contamination important to growers even without rule

Finalized in 2015, the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Rule (PR) sets specific disease-preventive requirements for produce that is consumed raw in the United States. (Compliance deadlines for the PR’s water requirements are unofficially proposed through 2024.)

The two main categories of water the PR covers are (1) preharvest, untreated ground or surface water that contacts the plants’ edible portions and (2) harvest or postharvest, untreated groundwater in circumstances where it is reasonably likely that contaminants would be transferred to the produce, such as washing produce or washing food contact surfaces. According to the survey results, the majority of growers who would be covered under the PR already tested the untreated ground and untreated surface water they used in the field, and an even larger share of growers covered by the PR tested the untreated groundwater they used in harvest and postharvest activities. This chart appears in “Before Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule: A Survey of U.S. Produce Growers,” released in August 2018.

Source: United State Department of Agriculture

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