Food Safety Modernization Act
FSMA Produce Safety Rule
- What is the Food Safety Modernization Act?
- Regulation Resources
- Produce Safety Rule Questionnaire
- Related Links
- On-Farm Readiness Review
- On-Farm Readiness Review Resources
- Are you covered under the Produce Safety Rule? Click here to find out.
- Produce Safety Alliance Glossary
- Produce Safety Rule Inspections
- Post PSA Grower Training Resources
About the course:
The Food Safety Grower Training curriculum has been specifically designed to provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices knowledge that includes emphasis on co-management of food safety and environmental management goals, while outlining the requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. It was developed through a nationwide collaboration including produce growers, extension educators, researchers, produce industry representatives and government personnel.
Who Should Attend?
The Grower Training Course is for fruit and vegetable Growers, Harvesters, Packers, Cooler/Holders and others interested in learning about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), co-management of natural resources, produce safety & food safety.
The course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in CFR 21-112.22(c) that requires 'At least one supervisor or responsible party from your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).'
Benefits of Attending the Course:
Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:
- Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
- How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduces risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
- Parts of a Farm Food Safety Plan and how to begin writing one
- Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule
- Receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) verifying completion of course
The course will teach attendees who manage food safety programs and/or food safety professionals the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. The personnel responsible for food safety will then take the course information back to their respective operations and implement the necessary Produce Safety Rule requirements. The food safety professional can then ensure their operation understands and implements the practices outlined in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The course will also help the food safety professional define the specific backup documentation that will be needed to comply with the Produce Safety Rule.
Please contact Norman Barnett at [email protected] or 602-542-0978 with any questions or concerns.
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Grower Training Course's will be offered at a variety of locations and dates throughout the year. If you are interested in registering for a course, then please follow the links to the registration forms below - noting the date and location of training you are interested in. Registration begins at 7:30 am, the course runs from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and lunch will be provided.
Meet the Team!
PSA Lead Trainers:
Norman E. Barnett
Norman is a Training Officer for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. He was hired by AZDA in 2017 after a 26-year career in food safety, sanitation, pest management, regulatory compliance and environmental health with the Kroger Company. There, he was the corporate liaison with the FDA, USDA and all County environmental health agencies for 125 Fry’s stores throughout the entire state of Arizona. He was responsible for food safety and sanitation programs, pest management, regulatory compliance, the corporate recall program, and all food safety training. Since 2017 he has assisted with the state-wide implementation of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. As a Training Officer he works directly with Arizona Growers, Harvesters, Packers and Holders performing PSA Grower Training courses, On-Farm Readiness Reviews and educational outreach. He is a Committee Member for the University of Arizona’s Food Safety Consortium and credentialed by the FDA-HHS as an agent commissioned to perform activities in the state of Arizona relating to produce.
Email: [email protected]
Natalie A. Brassill, M.S.
Natalie A. Brassill, M.S. is an Assistant in Extension at the University of Arizona, Maricopa Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, AZ. Ms. Brassill is an Environmental Scientist who conducts Research in Water Quality. She earned her Master’s Degree in Environmental Microbiology from the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2013. Ms. Brassill focuses on research and outreach education in the field of surface water quality used for irrigation and recreation as well as wastewater and water reuse. She has taught lectures in both water quality and food safety including hands on workshops on farm and in classrooms across Arizona. She brings her passion for water and the outdoors to the work that she performs for University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. Ms. Brassill has also conducted research at the Yuma Agriculture Center in the field of fresh produce safety and post-harvest microbiology. She currently works in the field of water quality microbiology pertaining to food safety and conducts state wide research and outreach.
Email: [email protected]
Michael Brown, a Training Officer for Arizona Department of Agriculture, has a diverse background in produce safety through applied science, business management and international development work performed across the USA and internationally in 22 countries. Working at state, national and global levels Mr. Brown effectively managed food safety and product innovation within produce supply chains. Mr. Brown coupled business acumen and scientific training to negotiate partnerships with seven co-pack processors to launch and sell a 12-SKU modified atmosphere packaged (MAP) product line in over 7,500 stores. As an agribusiness consultant with USAID, World Bank, and International Development firms he worked with teams that established the first HTFA and organic fruit exports in the South Pacific; increased value-added produce exports from Albania to northern Europe, and revitalized West African fruit exports to Europe. Recently he managed tropical exports from Central America and Mexico adhering to FSMA Foreign Verification program. Brown is a United Fresh/DuPont Produce Leadership Alum.
Email: [email protected]
Teresa Reyes was born and raised in El Salvador, migrated in 1999 to USA. Worked as a farm worker, while she was working decided to attend College. Then transferred to Northern Arizona University where she obtained in 2016 a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She has been working for the University of Arizona Yuma Agricultural Center as a Laboratory technician in the Food Safety Lab with Dr. Rivadeneira and Dr. Rock since 2015. She also works for Yuma Environmental Services as a Laboratory technician.
Email: [email protected]
Channah Rock, PhD
Dr. Channah Rock is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science and also maintains a joint appointment as a Water Quality Specialist with UA Cooperative Extension. Dr. Rock is PI on several projects relating to microbial evaluation of water quality for the protection of public health as well as promoting water reuse as a safe and practical resource for the Southwest United States. Dr. Rock is based at the Maricopa Agricultural Center and hosts a Statewide Water Quality Research and Extension Program.
Email: [email protected]
Danielle Runion, M.S.
Danielle Runion, M.S. is the Program Manager for the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) at the Arizona Department of Agriculture in the Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Division. Danielle received her Master's Degree in Soil Science from the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University (OSU) in 2018. Ms. Runion taught lectures and facilitated labs at OSU on the fundamental soil processes and properties. Her research at OSU primarily focused on improving agricultural productivity in arid and semi-arid regions by increasing the water retention quantity in sandy soil. Currently she focuses on produce safety outreach and education while further developing the PSR Program.
Email: [email protected]
In September 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) a five year grant/cooperative agreement to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
Under the Cooperative Agreement, Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) will provide statewide training and outreach for the Produce Safety Rule. The AZDA facilitates the required Produce Safety Alliance – Produce Safety Rule Grower Training (Click here to register). Training staff will also provide one-on-one consultations during a scheduled On-Farm Readiness Review to help farms understand and better comply with the Produce Safety Rule.
The Cooperative Agreement also covers regulatory oversight and compliance, for which the Arizona Department of Agriculture has gained legislative authority after Arizona farmers opted for AZDA inspectors.
The seven major FSMA regulations include:
1. Produce Safety Rule - Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, & Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
2. Preventive Controls for Human Foods
3. Preventive Controls for Animals
4. Foreign Supplier Verification Programs
5. Third Party Accreditation
6. Mitigation of Intentional Adulteration
7. Sanitary Transportation
Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - Produce Safety Rule, the Arizona Department of Agriculture is required to provide training, inspections, and collect information to maintain a current farm inventory. In order to complete the following three requirements we need your help! The following questionnaire will help us to obtain current and accurate information as well as the ability to assess stakeholders needs.
The 2020 Questionnaire can either be filled out online through google forms or sending the downloadable PDF through direct mail (1688 W. Adams St., Phoenix, Arizona 85007), fax (602.542.0898) or email ([email protected]). An owner, operator, lessee or designated representative of a covered farm shall annually submit the questionnaire. The information required in the form is outlined in subsection A of 'R3-10-402. Inventory of Farms; Form; Electronic Submission' and shall be submitted not later than October 1st of each year. If there is a material change to the information required in subsection A, the owner, operator lessee or designated representative of the farm shall notify the Deparment within 60 days after the change.
The On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a non-regulatory, confidential assessment of a farm's readiness for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. It is an excellent opportunity for fruit and vegetable growers to determine how their practices align with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). A Produce Safety Rule expert from our team will schedule a time to meet with you to walk-through your operation and have a one-on-one discussion about your practices. Be sure to ask any questions about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule at this time. The OFRR is meant to help you determine areas of risk that you can improve upon, therefore, it will be important for us to evaluate any preharvest, harvest and post-harvest activities to assess what you are doing well and identify areas of improvement. Keep in mind that the focus of the walk around is to discuss food safety practices, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR).
The OFRR review team will consist of a member of the Arizona Department of Agriculture and a member of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. On some occasions we may request that another team member from either of our organizations join us for the OFRR as a training opportunity. If requested in advance, you do have the option to have a representative from the Food and Drug Administration join the review and may ask your Produce Safety Rule expert to set this up. The OFRR is a great opportunity for everyone to learn about the intersection of on-farm practices with the Produce Safety Rule.
Prior to the Review:
It is required that someone from your operation has attended the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Grower Training prior to scheduling an On-Farm Readiness Review. If you have not attended this course yet and need to register click here. This will help you get the most out of the review and will allow us to discuss your practices as they pertain to the Produce Safety Rule. We encourage you to think through your food safety practices and be prepared to ask any questions you may have about how your practices align with the Rule.
To help prepare you and the review team for a successful visit, the Lead Reviewer will be calling the food safety representative to discuss a few details regarding the operation. This is an opportunity for you to let us know of any special concerns or additional information we need to know prior to our arrival. During this call, the Lead Reviewer may ask other information about your farm including: commodities grown, meeting location, biosecurity requirements, visitor policies, activities occurring on the operation, number of years in production. At this time the Lead Reviewer will also schedule the time and date of the review.
Day of the Review:
Once the reviewers arrive on the farm, they will meet with the food safety representative to quickly go over the plan for the review. The schedule for the walk-through will be based on what activities are occurring that day. Below are sections which are typically observed and discussed by the OFRR team during the day of the review. If some sections are not relevant to your operation, then the reviewer will not cover this information with you, yet you will receive the OFRR Manual which does cover all sections in detail.
Sections on the Review:
- Worker Health and Hygiene
- Biological Soil Amendments
- Wildlife and Domestic Animals
- Pre and Post-Harvest Sanitation
- Agricultural Water
The OFRR program was designed to educate the farmer on the inspection process and provide a level of comfort with the new requirements imposed by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. At the end of the review, the Reviewers will provide their top three suggestions for the farm to improve its food safety practices. Afterwards, the farmer is connected with educational materials and resources to assist with solutions to achieve compliance with FSMA. The entire review is confidential and careful consideration has been given to protecting farm information, therefore all notes will be left with you.
Once your has completed the On-Farm Readiness Review, click the link below to complete an anonymous survey.
Produce Safety Rule Inspections
Nathan Blotter - Phoenix, Arizona
Nathan Blotter is an Inspector at the Arizona Department of Agriculture, where Nathan reviews and guides produce growers to ensure safe and responsible growing, handling, and storage practices as outlined by the Food Safety Modernization Act. Nathan has an educational background in Horticulture and inherently understands the importance and obligation that farmers have in providing a safe product to the public. Nathan is committed to preserving and improving Arizona’s agricultural industries through education, collaboration and commitment to produce safety.
Nancy Villalon - Yuma, Arizona
Nancy Villalon is a Produce Safety Rule Inspector for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Nancy was born and raised in Yuma, AZ. She was born into a family of agricultural workers and that is where her love and respect for the agriculture began. Ms. Villalon worked in quality control at a leafy greens processing plant but ultimately her love for agriculture motivated her to switch her focus from quality control to food safety. This allowed her to work in the field as well as interact with the field employees. After discovering a passion for food safety, her current position as a Produce Safety Rule Inspector allows her to educate on the importance of maintaining a clean and safe work environment. This is a perfect opportunity for her to ensure that the food served at the dinner table is in fact the safest possible.
Inspection and Compliance
Arizona State law and Federal law has established science-based minimum standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fresh fruits and vegetables for human consumption. Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) will be conducting scheduled inspections beginning the Summer of 2019.
*Produce includes fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, tree nuts, and herbs
Is your farm covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? In order to determine if the law applies to your farm, please click the following link.
- If your produce is for personal on-farm consumption, then your produce is not covered by the Federal Produce Safety regulation.
- If the only produce you grow is defined by FDA as a "rarely consumed raw", then your produce is exempt from the Rule (what is considered "rarely consumed raw" by FDA).
- If your farm on average had less than $500,000 annual food sales (Note: food sales includes food grains such as hay, alfalfa, wheat, produce, processed food, etc.) for the last three years and a majority of the food is sold directly to qualified end-users, then your farm could be eligible for a qualified exemption.
- If your farm on average had more than $25,000 in annual produce sales in the last three years, then you are covered by the Rule.
- If your produce is intended from commercial processing that adequeately reduces harmful microorganizms, then your produce could be eligible for exemption.