Implementation of the FDA Produce Safety Rule
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Fruit and Vegetables
Proposal to FDA for Implementation of the Produce Safety Rule: Standards for Growing,
Harvesting, Packing and Handling of Produce for Human Consumption. PAR-16-137
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), through the Division
of Fruit and Vegetables (DFV) will be responsible for establishing and administering a
comprehensive Produce Safety Program to promote the safe production of fresh fruits and
vegetables and promote compliance with the requirements of FDA's Regulation "Standards for
the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption". This
program would enable the development of a new produce safety program in Florida in an effort
to prevent food borne illnesses linked to farms.
As a baseline, FDACS will evaluate existing statutory and/or regulatory authority related to
produce safety, and a determination of the changes, to establish, operate and maintain a Produce
Safety Program that is supportive of the requirements in FDA’s Produce Safety Regulation.
FDACS will also investigate and develop a methodology for the creation of a farm inventory.
FDACS will interact with the University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (IFAS) to educate and inform Florida farming community regarding the Produce Safety
Regulation and how to apply the regulation in a manner that will facilitate compliance by the
farm. The program will ensure that education, outreach and technical assistance is accessible to
all Florida fruit and vegetables farmers. Technical Assistance based on educational programs
developed by the Produce Safety Alliance, the Sprout Safety Alliance, Cooperative Extension,
National Coordinating Center and Regional Centers and Subject Matter Experts will be available
through the County Extension Offices.
FDACS will formulate a multi-year plan to implement an enhanced produce safety system. This
plan will be based on learned lessons during the design and develop of the Produce Safety
Program and the vast experience of the FDACS performing State-Regulated, USDA and GFSI
Audits. The “educate before regulate” approach will be encouraged during the inspections.