The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), through the
Division of Fruit and Vegetables (DFV), will be responsible for administering a
comprehensive Produce Safety Program to promote the safe production of fresh fruit
and vegetables and promote compliance with the requirements of FDA’s Regulation
“Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human
Consumption”. The DFV has worked diligently to develop a produce safety program
that has provided education to Florida’s Agriculture Industry to help prevent food borne
illness outbreaks and promote good agricultural practices.
Over the next five years, the DFV will focus on furthering education and outreach
activities to covered farms directly impacted by the PSR, providing technical assistance
through On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR), compiling a verified farm inventory, and
performing inspections to ensure compliance with the PSR. The DFV expects to have a
well-defined inventory and will plan to educate and provide technical assistance to the
majority of the covered farms in the State of Florida by the end of the project period.
The DFV also intends to provide at least one routine inspection to all covered farms by
the end of the project period and perform follow-up inspections as needed.
By choosing Program Path B, the DFV will continue to conduct produce safety
inspections under FDA’s authority. The DFV will provide its team members with training
opportunities to ensure they have the appropriate knowledge and skill set necessary to
perform their job. The DFV will develop and implement a succession plan. A vetted
succession plan will ensure Florida’s Produce Safety Program will continue to run
effectively and efficiently with minimal interruptions.
The DFV will establish more unified, defined internal procedures for the preliminary
review of inspection documentation. The DFV will create written procedures to conduct
response activities, establish Memorandums of Understanding (or other formal
documents) with internal/relevant agencies and create a Rapid Response Team if
needed. By documenting a plan, the DFV will be able to effectively collaborate with
FDA to identify, coordinate and implement response activities.