On October 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two draft guidance documents to help farmers and fresh-cut produce processors better understand what they need to do to meet requirements established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The first draft guidance is a compliance and implementation guide to assist growers with meeting the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule under FSMA. To further assist farmers and other stakeholders, FDA has also published At-A-Glance overviews that highlight the key points in each chapter in the draft guidance.
The second draft guidance, Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Produce, explains the FDA’s current thinking on how fresh-cut produce processors, such as those that prepare bagged salad mixes and fruit salad, may comply with the requirements found in the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule under FSMA.
Both draft guidance documents will be open for public comment for 180 days. The FDA has also committed to holding four public meetings around the country at which the agency will have an opportunity to engage with stakeholders on the Produce Safety Rule draft guidance. The dates and locations of these meetings will be announced soon via a notice in the Federal Register.