FSMA's Produce Safety Rule is a long, and full of dense language, acronyms, and specialized terms. Thus, there is temptation to craft an accessible "plain language" version of the rule, so people can understand it. Recrafting, however, is inappropriate because it could lead to misinterpretation of the rule. Therefore, this page presents a "Plain Language Overview" with targeted links to the key elements of the PSR to provide an overview of the topic covered by the specific linked section. Please follow the links for a complete review of the rule.
Overview of Standard: General requirement that farms protect produce from hazards such as unsanitary conditions, or adulteration.
- General requirement that farms protect produce from hazards such as unsanitary conditions, or adulteration. [112.11]
Worker Training: Health and Hygiene and Job Specific Risk Reduction
Overview of Standard: All farm workers are trained annually to keep clean, stay healthy, and recognize and manage contamination risks relevant to their job.
Standard Verification Form: Plan, policy, and training verification records, visual inspection
- Certificate to verify that farm manager(s) completed the FDA-recognized Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course. [112.22]
- Policy that sick and/or contagious workers rest and recover, and do not work with produce. [112.31]
- Annual verification that workers have been trained to minimize food safety risk, while maintaining good hygiene. [112.21]
- Good hygiene training and practices relate to hand washing, gloves, jewelry, clothing, and food and drink. [112.32]
Standard Verification Form: Plan, policy, and training verification records, visual inspection.
- Farm visitors are required to follow basics health and hygiene policy, as applicable. [112.33]
Domesticated and Wild Animals
Overview of Standard: Risks posed from wild and domestic animals are assessed and mitigated.
Standard Verification Form: Plan
- Farms must inspect crops before harvest and take steps as needed to prevent harvesting crops contaminated by wild or domesticated animal--tactics may include fencing, traps, scare tactics, etc. [112.83]
- Farms are NOT required to exclude animals or destroy habitat, nor are the allowed to hunt or kills threatened or endangered species. [112.84, 112.12]
Crop Land and Harvest Risks
Overview of Standard: Risks posed from land-based human or natural causes are assessed and mitigated.
Standard Verification Form: Plan, policy
Cleaning and Sanitation: Food Contact Surfaces
Overview of Standard: All food contact surfaces and bins are cleaned and managed to minimize risk of contaminating produce.
Standard Verification Form: Plan, task completion records
- Farms must use and maintain food-contact equipment and tools that are durable and cleanable. [112.123]
Cleaning and Sanitation: Non-Food Contact Surfaces
Overview of Standard: All non-food contact surfaces buildings and grounds are maintained, and regularly cleaned and sanitized so as to minimized contamination of crops.
Standard Verification Form: Plan, Policies and records
- Farms must inspect and maintain cleanliness, including adequate cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces of tools and equipment. [112.123]
- Farms must clean and safely maintain their vehicles used to transport covered produce. [112.125]
- Farms must have good drainage within building and prevent contamination from floors, walls, ceilings, fixtures, ducts, or pipes; and drip or condensate. [112.126]
- Domesticated animals must be excluded from enclosed buildings used for produce processing. [112.127]
- Farms must control pests to minimize risk in farm buildings, including routine monitoring, prevention, and exclusion. [112.128]
- Farms must maintain well-stocked bathrooms, and verify that the sewage treatment system is working well. [112.129, 112.130, 112.131]
- All areas and building involved in growing and packing produce must be relatively free of litter and debris. [112.132]
- Farms must maintain plumbing within buildings that is properly designed and functioning. [112.133]
- Farms must keep records of cleaning and sanitizing of harvesting, packing or holding equipment. [112.140]
Produce Safety Plan
Overview of Standard: No plan required, yet farms need to organize all required produce safety documents--this compilation is their "Produce Safety Plan".
Standard Verification Form: No written plan required