What does it mean to be covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule?

Being “covered under the rule” means that your farm or business is subject to the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule and must meet the requirements set forth in the rule.

How do I get my farm or business certified?

Farms and business do not get certified, people do. If your farm or business is covered or not otherwise exempt under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, then you are required to have at least one employee trained and certified.

I’ve attended produce safety training in the past. Does that fill the requirement?

The only training currently recognized by the Food and Drug Administration is the Produce Safety Alliance Growers Training course, developed by Cornell University. If you attended a training and did not receive a certificate from Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the training does not meet the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.

Who should I send to training?

Any individual working on your farm or at your business responsible for produce safety would benefit from this training. However, only one person from each farm or business is required to become certified in order to comply with the rule.

How long is the training?  

The training is one day,usually scheduled from 8 am to 5 pm.

How do I prove that I (or my employee) have completed the training?  

After completing this day-long training, you will receive an AFDO certificate. This will document that you have received the appropriate training to comply with FSMA requirements.

What happens if my trained employee leaves my employment?

If the only person certified in produce safety is no longer employed by you, someone else must attend training and become certified to comply with the rule.

Who does the training?

In Wisconsin, the UW-Extension in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection are offering the training. Other organizations may offer FDA recognized grower training as well; you can check the Produce Safety Alliance website for a complete list of training dates and locations.

Does this training cover certification for sprout growers?

Sprouts present a unique food safety risk because the warm, moist and nutrient-rich conditions required to produce sprouts are the same conditions that are also ideal for the growth of pathogens. Sprout growers have specialized training that is specific to their growing practices. Contact the Sprout Safety Alliance for information about grower trainings acceptable to the FDA for sprout growers.