The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is federal legislation implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to that agency, the new law “enables FDA to focus more on preventing food safety problems rather than relying primarily on reacting to problems after they occur.” There are seven final rules under FSMA: Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration; Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food; Produce Safety; Foreign Supplier Verification Programs; Accredited Third-Part Certification; Preventative Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Food for Animals.
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is working with the FDA through a cooperative agreement to advance efforts to implement and ensure compliance with the Produce Safety Rule.
Through the cooperative agreement, NMDA will promote understanding and compliance with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule with an emphasis on education. NMDA will work with state partners to conduct grower outreach, education, and technical assistance. Through the cooperative agreement, NMDA is also developing an inspection program.
An essential element of outreach and education is identifying produce growers in the state that are covered by the rule. You may be impacted by the Produce Safety Rule if you grow, harvest, pack or hold fresh produce for human consumption. The Produce Safety Rule includes the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of agricultural commodities that are commonly consumed raw, such as, chile peppers, lettuce, and melons.
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