FDA publishes interview on FSMA produce rule

fruit_vegetable_market_blogAs the comment period for the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) produce rule continues, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published more information it hopes will help answer questions about the rule.

In an interview posted on the FDA’s website, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Mike Taylor answers some common questions about the rule, including why FSMA doesn’t just focus on produce that has been associated with outbreaks and how FDA decided on which farms would be covered under the rule.

“In enacting FSMA, Congress told us to take a preventive approach to ensuring food safety. For produce, Congress said specifically that our rules should require those steps that are “reasonably necessary to prevent the introduction of known or reasonably foreseeable” hazards,” Taylor said in the interview. “Illness outbreaks are of course one way to identify hazards that need to be prevented, but many outbreaks are never detected and many detected outbreaks are never linked to a specific food. Past outbreaks are also poor predictors of the future. In fact, almost every year we have an outbreak associated with a produce item with no past history of reported outbreaks.”

Commonly called the produce rule, Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption will create science and risk-based safety standards for produce.

The rule’s comment period is open until September 16. You can comment here.

To read the full interview, click here. For more from Neogen’s blog on FSMA, click here.

Comments are closed.