University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Food Safety & Modernization Act Proposed Rules

Resources for Growers and Service Providers Seeking to Understand FSMA

News & Updates

Update April 2015:

  • The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) encourages all Vermont producers who grow, harvest, pack, or hold fresh fruit or vegetables - even if primarily engaged in another type of farming or food production - to take this survey designed to help them determine how Vermont will be affected by the "Produce Rule" under FSMA. Growers are also welcome to call Kristina Sweet at (802) 522-7811 to take the survey by phone.

  • Do you have a farmstand, CSA, or sell from a farmer's market? The FDA needs to hear from you. The FDA has proposed a rule to exempt CSAs, farmstands and farmer's markets from registering as facilities. Establishments from the requirement to register would not be subject to the requirements of the FSMA preventive controls rulemaking. The FDA is accepting public comments until June 8, 2015. To electronically submit comments to the docket, visit their website and type FDA-2002-N-0323in the search box.

Update December 2014:

The FDA accepted comments on the Supplemental Rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act until December 15, 2014.

  • To submit comments on the Produce Rule, go here.
  • To submit comments on the Preventive Controls Rule (for processed food) go to this website

The website will only give you a short period of time to write your comments, so we suggest writing your comments in a word document and then cutting and pasting it into the Federal Register.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has excellent summaries of all of the issues and templates for making comments here.

Ginger Nickerson's comments to the Federal Register on the Supplemental Produce Rules are here.

Vern Grubinger has summarized some of the most significant issues here.

Update 11/11/14:

Produce Safety Coordinator Ginger Nickerson has put together this Summary of FSMA Supplemental Revisions for Produce Rule, summarizing some of the most significant changes, what they mean for Vermont growers, and highlighting issues on which the FDA is especially interested in receiving comments.

Update 9/18/14:

FDA Releases Proposed Revised Rules on Produce Safety

The changes include:

Produce Safety: More flexible criteria for determining the safety of agricultural water for certain uses and a tiered approach to water testing.

Produce Safety: A commitment to conduct extensive research on the safe use of raw manure in growing areas and complete a risk assessment. Pending those actions, FDA is deferring its decision on an appropriate time interval between the application of raw manure and the harvesting of a crop and removing the nine-month interval originally proposed. FDA also proposes eliminating the 45-day minimum application interval for composted manure that meets proposed microbial standards and application requirements.

Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Foods: Requirements that human and animal food facilities, when appropriate, test products and the food facility's environment, as well as implement certain supplier controls.

The FDA will accept comments on the revised provisions for 75 days after publication in the Federal Register, while continuing to review comments already received on the original proposed rules. No additional comments will be accepted on the original proposals. FDA will consider both sets of comments - on the original proposed rules and on the revisions - before issuing final rules in 2015.

Understanding the Proposed Changes

Fact Sheets

Federal Register Notices


Resources to help you learn about how FSMA might impact small-scale and diversified farms:

Submitting your comments to the FDA.

Last modified April 23 2015 12:34 PM