Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Miss us at the Trade Show? Don’t worry—we’ve got your FSMA Facts here!


The Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, is the first significant overhaul of food safety regulations since the 1930s and was designed to prevent food borne illness. FSMA will be implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and relevant state agencies.

In December 2014, FDA concluded the second of two comment periods on draft rules it has written to implement the law. There are seven FSMA rules covering everything from human food to pet food to imports to transportation.

FDA to Delay FSMA Produce Safety Rule Inspections

Please be advised, compliance dates for the Produce Safety Rule have not changed. "Large farms" due for compliance in 2018 are still expected to be in compliance. There will not, however, be inspections to assess said compliance in 2018. This time will instead be used to provide more education, training and outreach on the new requirements. In particular, states—in conjunction with NASDA and the FDA—will expand On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR), in which a team of state officials, cooperative extension agents, and the FDA produce experts provide farmers with an assessment of their "readiness" to meet the new requirements. These will be by request and at no cost to the grower. Priority will be given to those affected first by the new Rule. If you are unsure of your operation’s compliance date or plan to request such a review, please complete and submit the form that accompanies this post.

*The information provided in this publication reflects the Code of Regulations Title21, Part 112. This can be found, in its entirety, at Food and Drug Administration or may be requested by calling (207) 764-2100.

**Funding for this publication was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.


Recent FSMA News

Produce Safety Rule Compliance Dates

Compliance dates for covered activities (excluding water), except for those involving sprouts, are:

  • Large Farms (Annual Produce Sales over $500,000), January 26, 2018
  • Small Farms (Annual Produce Sales $250,001-$500,000), January 28, 2019
  • Very Small Farms (Annual Produce Sales $25,001-$250,000), January 27, 2020
Baseline Value for Cut-offs (2011) Value in 2012 Value in 2013 Value in 2014 Value in 2015 Value in 2016 Average 3 Year Value for 2014 - 2016
$25,000 $25,460 $25,871 $26,332 $26,608 $26,956 $26,632

To determine values adjusted for inflation, reference: FSMA Inflation Adjusted Cut Offs


Training Opportunties

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

This course is for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural re-sources and food safety.

This PSA Grower Training is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule training requirement outlined in   112.22(c) that requires that: 

“At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration."

All farms that are fully covered under the Produce Safety Rule will need to comply with this training requirement.

**If you are not sure whether your farm is fully covered or eligible for exemptions, give Leah Cook a call at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry to find out your coverage status. She and her team can be reached at 207-764-2100.**

Training Topics Include:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

Training Dates

  • Dover-Foxcroft: March 29, 2019 9AM to 6PM (Snow Date April 4)
  • Farmington: April 5, 2019 9AM to 6PM (Snow Date April 19)

Register Online!

**PLEASE NOTE: These may be the last training sessions offered by UMaine Cooperative Extension that meet FSMA requirements until next fall. Produce growers due for their compliance inspection this summer should plan on attending a PSA Grower Training prior to their compliance inspections which will begin in June 2019.**


Will FSMA Affect You?

This useful flowchart (PDF), and the Understanding FDA’s FSMA Rule for Produce Farms (PDF), developed by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, helps farms and food businesses determine which rules apply to them and how.


Financial Assistance Information

Use the resources below if you need help in finding financial assistance to improve your infrastructure to come into compliance with FRSA regulations.