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07/25/2018

State Food Safety Team Offers Produce Growers Free Readiness Reviews Ahead of New FSMA Standards

Harrisburg, PA - Food safety inspectors with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture are offering free on-farm readiness reviews to assess whether produce growers are ready to meet new preventative food safety standards under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The new standards took effect for fruit and vegetable producers this season.

“Our goal is for those who buy their fruits and vegetables from Pennsylvania producers to be confident that what they buy is safe,” Agriculture Russell Redding said. “Prevention is the best way to eliminate food safety risks, and FSMA’s increased safety standards have been a positive shift from response to prevention. Our state food safety team stands ready to support Pennsylvania producers in adjusting to the changes.”

State food safety inspectors will visit farms on request, and do a mock inspection to determine whether the grower is meeting new protocols for safe harvesting, handling, storage, and transport of the specific produce grown on their farm. A review takes approximately four hours, depending on the size of the operation, and will help ensure that the farm is ready to pass an FDA inspection.

FSMA was signed into law in 2016, setting new Food and Drug Administration requirements for businesses that grow, process and transport food. Requirements have been phased in, affecting more Pennsylvania businesses this growing season.

Producers may call 717.787.4315 to arrange a review. Those who participate in a review may also receive promotional items encouraging customers to “Buy Local,” courtesy of the PA Preferred state branding program.

Learn more about food safety in Pennsylvania at agriculture.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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