FDA Issues Draft Guidance Document for Produce Safety Rules
In November 2015, the FDA finally issued the Final Produce Safety Rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which had been enacted a “mere” five years earlier. (I should probably also mention the fact that the FDA ended up getting sued for failing to act as required under the Act and issue the rules according to the timeline set down in the Act, see Ctr. for Food Safety v. Hamburg, 954 F. Supp. 965 (ND Cal. 2013)). Well, and in any case, the FDA has now issued a DRAFT of the Guidance document, which according the FDA, is intended to help the owner, operator, or agent in charge of a covered farm (i.e., “you”) to comply with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.” I have not had a chance to look at the Guidance in great detail, but it can be found here: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Guidance for Industry.
The FDA also issued a Draft Guidance for “fresh-cut” produce that covers the regulatory requirements (including CGMP’s or Current Good Manufacturing Practices) that apply to those who manufacture, process, pack, or hold fresh-cut produce, which is pretty much any produce that is not sold as an unpackaged intact vegetable. The Guidance can be found here: Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-Cut Produce: Draft Guidance for Industry.
Happy Reading! (And more posts with commentary later.)