The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a guide to help small businesses comply with the Produce Safety Rule mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The FDA said its Small Entity Compliance Guides (SECGs) could help farmers determine whether they were eligible for a qualified exemption, which would modify the requirements they are subject to under the Produce Safety Rule.
The main compliance dates for small businesses and very small businesses under the Produce Safety Rule are Jan. 28, 2019, and Jan. 27, 2020, respectively, but certain agricultural water requirements have extended compliance dates.
Sprout operations that are small businesses and very small businesses have compliance dates of Jan. 26, 2018, and Jan. 28, 2019, respectively.
Businesses that intend to claim a qualified exemption by their primary compliance date were required to begin keeping documentation supporting their eligibility for a qualified exemption on Jan. 26, 2016.