The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. The goal of this legislation is prevent contamination of food produced in the United States before foodborne illness outbreaks occur. The Produce Safety Rule of FSMA has huge implications for many growers across the state. This year, compliance of the full rule will be enforced for farms grossing $500K or more. Smaller farms have until 2019 or 2020 to comply with rule, depending on their income.
Across the state, many organizations are working to help fruit and vegetable growers comply with FSMA requirements. One tool being used is a Farm Food Safety Plan. While the FSMA Produce Safety Rule does not require a written farm food safety plan, creating a plan can assist growers in getting organized and preparing for third party audits.
This month, the Michigan Farmers Union and Genesee County Conservation District are offering a FREE workshop on creating a Farm Food Safety Plan. This day-long, hands on training will assist fruit and vegetable growers to create a Farm Food Safety Plan specific to their unique operation. Topics covered in the workshop will include:
• Performing a Risk Assessment
• Writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
• Record Keeping: What does FSMA require and why?
• Documenting: If it is not written down, you didn’t do it
• Product Traceability
• How to prepare for an FDA farm inspection
Participants will be provided with a log book that will include required FSMA documentation and templates for additional logs rowers may elect to include in their personalized safety plan. To registered for the event visit https://michiganfarmersunion.org/events/ or call Mary at 616.813.2384.
Kelly Wilson, RDN is TLD’s SE MI Local Food Coordinator. She is currently writing her Food Safety Plan for Simple Gifts Farm, her farm in North Oakland County.