The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has finalised new rules establishing enforceable food safety standards for produce farms and making importers accountable for ensuring that imported foods meet US safety standards.
The new rules are a part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernisation Act and are intended to help farmers and food importers prevent contamination problems before they occur. They use the same principles of preventative controls included in the existing rules applying to food processing and storage facilities.
The Produce Safety rule establishes science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce on farms, while the FSVP rule requires importers to verify that US food safety standards are being met by foreign food suppliers. A third rule sets up a program for accreditation of third-party certification bodies to audit foreign food facilities against FDA food safety requirements.
More information about the newly finalised rules can be found here.