An audit or inspection can be a nerve-racking experience for any business owner. Farmers in North and South Carolina, however, have greatly benefited from having a trusted ally – the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) – to help them through the process. Through their Local Produce Food Safety Initiative, CFSA, an NSAC Member, provides farmers in the Carolinas with training, one-on-one assistance, and practical resources to help them comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules and successfully pass third party food safety audits.
With FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule (PSR) inspections about to begin nationwide, getting the kind of tailored, hands-on training like that provided through CFSA’s Local Produce Food Safety Initiative can make a huge difference for affected producers. CFSA’s food safety team is at the forefront of preparing farmers for both the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) GAP (“Good Agricultural Practices”) certification and the voluntary Harmonized GAP (H-GAP) Audit Program. USDA and FDA worked together to align the H-GAP certification with PSR for the first time this year.