FSMA Produce Rule – Part 1
August 22, 2017
Mandatory Training Under Way
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director
Jon Kimble, the operations business development manager at Safe Food Alliance in Sacramento, spoke to California Ag Today recently about the Produce Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
“The new produce safety rule that FDA has released under FSMA is a rule for growers,” he said. “For part of that rule, certain trainings are required, and the training that we're conducting has been approved by the FDA. It's been developed by the Produce Safety Alliance, and meets those requirements that they want to have a supervisor or somebody involved in the operation trained according to this training or equivalent to it.”
“We're very excited, in that we are working with the California Farm Bureau Federation on many of these trainings. We're looking forward to working with growers and helping them understand what the regulations say and some practical ways to apply the regulations within their operation,” Kimble said.
Kimble explained that the mandatory training covers every aspect of the operation. “Things that you're doing before planting, during harvest, and even afterward when the produce is being handled in packing houses,” he said.
The training entails topics such as worker hygiene, water control, soil amendments - the whole gamut of the operation.
“The focus is minimizing potential contamination. We all understand that a farm is not sterile," Kimble said. "We also understand there are potential sources of contamination that need to be minimize. That's the focus: minimizing contamination - and the main primary emphasis is really on microbial or biological hazards."
“Of course, there are chemical and physical hazards, but FSMA is focused on microbiological, including bacteria, viruses and parasites,” he said.
This is Part One of a Three Part Series on Maintaining Food Safety