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Entries tagged with: Food Safety


USDA funds food safety programs for small farms

USDA has made $4.7 million available in grants for food safety education, training, and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers, food hubs, farmers’ markets, and others.  The grants, offered through the Food Safety Outreach Program and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), are designed to help these stakeholders comply with new…  » Read more

FDA publishes Sanitary Transportation rule

The FDA has finalized a new food safety rule under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help to prevent food contamination during transportation. The rule will require those involved in transporting human and animal food by motor or rail vehicle to follow recognized best practices for sanitary transportation, such as properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads and properly protecting food during transportation. The rule implements the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 (SFTA) as well…  » Read more

USDA launches GroupGAP program

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the official launch of GroupGAP, a new certification program that helps small and mid-sized growers and cooperatives meet retailers' on-farm food safety requirements. "We know that GAP certification can sometimes be cost-prohibitive for smaller farmers," said AMS Administrator Elanor Starmer. "GroupGAP allows these farmers to demonstrate compliance with strong food safety standards and share the cost of certification across a group of growers. That means greater market access for farmers, more…  » Read more

Questions to ask water testing labs

Choosing a water testing lab to determine surface water quality to comply with food safety laws may seem straightforward. It isn’t. With the introduction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), small differences may have a big impact on whether or not your results are acceptable to an inspector or not. Knowing the answers to some key questions in advance of sending samples in can make all the difference. Do you…  » Read more

Western Growers donates $1M to produce safety research

Western Growers (WG) announced it's $1 million donation to the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) to advance food safety research and develop ready-to-use solutions to improve the safety of fresh produce globally. WG’s contribution puts CPS over the $10 million mark for their Campaign for Produce Safety, which aims to raise $20 million by 2020 to fund critically needed, actionable food safety research.  “With nearly a decade of cooperation and collaboration between our two organizations, we are honored to help…  » Read more

FDA issues guide on reducing acrylamide in food

The FDA has issued final guidance to the food industry to help growers, manufacturers and food service operators take steps to reduce levels of acrylamide in certain foods. Acrylamide is a chemical that may form in certain foods during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting and baking, the FDA said. The National Toxicology Program characterizes the substance as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The FDA’s guidance recommends that companies be aware of the levels of acrylamide in the foods…  » Read more

Water sampling for FSMA compliance

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Final Rule on Produce Safety. One area that was tweaked in the final rule from the proposed rule was clarification around sampling when testing irrigation water for fresh produce. Recall that the FSMA classifies two types of water used in the field: agricultural and indirect water. If water comes into direct contact with the harvestable portion of a plant, it is considered agricultural water. If…  » Read more

Produce groups to host webinars on FSMA final rules

Industry members will have an opportunity to interact with FDA and ask questions about three final Food Safety Modernization Act rules and their implementation requirements via two free webinars. Each of the 90-minute webinars is hosted by Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association, in partnership with regional produce associations. Registration is now available online. The webinar covering the produce safety rule will be Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST. The webinar covering the…  » Read more

Trio of final FSMA rules published in Federal Register

FDA has published three final rules that are key components of the revised Food Safety Modernization Act. The rules are accessible through the online Federal Register links below. The Produce Safety rule establishes science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce that are designed to work effectively for food safety across the wide diversity of produce farms. The Foreign Supplier Verification Program rule requires food importers to verify that foreign suppliers are producing food…  » Read more

More final FSMA rules submitted to Federal Register

FDA has submitted the final produce safety, foreign supplier verification and third party accreditation rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act to the Federal Register for publication, as required by the court. An additional rule, one covering preventive controls, was submitted Aug. 31. Documents submitted to the Federal Register can publish several days after they are submitted, with larger documents taking longer to process and display. The FDA said it is committed to sharing information…  » Read more

United Fresh offers free listeria guide

Two recent outbreaks have demonstrated the vulnerability of some fresh and fresh-cut operations to listeria harborage leading to product contamination. Some customers and supplier operations have implemented listeria testing programs without a good understanding of their scientific validity. While the processed foods industry and FDA have long had guidance for listeria monitoring and control, guidance applicable to the unique conditions of fresh produce handling operations has been lacking, according to the United Fresh Produce Association.…  » Read more
FDA releases long-awaited food safety rules

FDA releases long-awaited food safety rules

FDA has released its long-awaited implementation documents for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The two rules were placed in the Federal Register Jan. 4, and will be available for public comment for 120 days from that date. The first rule would require makers of food to be sold in the United States, whether produced at a foreign- or domestic-based facility, to develop a formal plan for preventing their food products from causing foodborne illness.…  » Read more
FDA releases long-awaited food safety rules

FDA releases long-awaited food safety rules

FDA has released its long-awaited implementation documents for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The two rules were placed in the Federal Register Jan. 4, and will be available for public comment for 120 days from that date. The first rule would require makers of food to be sold in the United States, whether produced at a foreign- or domestic-based facility, to develop a formal plan for preventing their food products from causing foodborne illness.…  » Read more
Farmers’ markets need to sell safe food, too

Farmers’ markets need to sell safe food, too

Buying locally grown produce at the farmers’ market is a great way to ensure your family is getting the freshest food possible, but it doesn’t guarantee that the produce is safer. Just like any food, locally grown food must be handled safely on the farm and in the markets to make sure it is safe when it lands on the diner table. That’s the message that University of Georgia (UGA) Extension Food Safety Specialist Judy…  » Read more