From the desk of
THE PRODUCE SAFETY TEAM
May 3rd, 2021
A few key terms about the FSMA Produce Safety Rule
This newsletter is focused on ways a farm could file for an "Exemption" under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

Before you read on, it's important to understand the difference between an "exclusion" and an "exemption" as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Exclusion: A farm that is excluded from the FSMA Produce Safety rule (also termed "not covered") does not need to comply or file any paperwork related to the federal Produce Safety Rule. To learn about the ways a farm can be considered excluded, check out this flow chart provided by the FDA.

Exemption: A farm that is exempt from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule must still comply with some of the Produce Safety Rule laws (albeit modified requirements). To learn about the ways a farm can be considered exempt, check out the resources in this newsletter!
Does the FSMA Produce Safety Rule Apply to your Farm?
Figuring out whether or not your farm is covered or exempt from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule can be confusing. In this episode, you'll hear from Emily Hale, a Produce Safety Technician covering the east side of Michigan, and Rich and Cindy Kern, co-owners of Cardinal Farms in South Lyon, Michigan. Emily will walk the Kerns through a series of questions to help them determine how the rule applies to their farm.

To contact a Michigan Produce Safety Technician, you may visit https://www.miofps.org/
FSMA Exempt Farms Still Have Work to Do
Phil Tocco
Michigan State University Extension Educator
Farms exempt from the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act produce safety rule still have to keep records to prove exemption and identify yourself at points of sale.

No matter the size of your fruit or vegetable farm, the release of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce rule will affect you if you sell fruits and vegetables. Even if you’re exempt from the produce rule, you’ll have to keep records to prove your exemption and identify yourself at points of sale.
Maintaining Food Safety Standards While Qualified Exempt
Landen Tetil
Upper Peninsula Produce Safety Technician
Qualified Exempt farms, provided they keep the required documents to prove their exemption, are granted a pass on routine inspections for the FSMA Produce Safety Rule (PSR) – but this is not a free pass on food safety practices. In the event of a foodborne illness, outbreak, or other cause for concern traced back to farm, even a Qualified Exempt farm will be subject to an investigation from the state’s Department of Agriculture.
Your Next Step Towards FSMA Compliance is a FREE On-Farm Readiness Review!
Many growers of fresh produce want to know how ready they are with regards to being FSMA compliant. In an effort to get people ready for a full implementation of FSMA, Cooperative Extension has developed an On-Farm Readiness Review program. This article helps growers walk through the next steps.
Explore your farm's Produce Safety Rule status with MDARD.
If you want to connect with a produce safety inspector at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to learn more about how the FSMA Produce Safety Rule applies to your farm or your inspection status, please complete this MDARD Grower survey. A member of MDARD’s Produce Safety Team will contact you directly to verify your status based on the information you provide. Not only do you get to know your status, but MDARD will maintain this data to ensure that you receive relevant communication related to the Produce Safety Rule and Michigan’s Produce Safety Program. 
Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team
1715 Lansing Ave, Jackson, MI 49202 | MSU Extension MACD Produce Safety Technicians
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