Working with FDA to build a Virtual Farm Tour

Last week The LGMA and one of our members, Braga Fresh Family Farms, had the unique opportunity to assist the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the creation of a training video.

Orienting Inspectors to the Farm

The training video will be used as an orientation for new FDA inspectors who will implement federal food safety laws included in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  FDA will begin implementing the Produce Safety Rule in January of 2018.  The Produce Safety Rule applies to produce farmers across the nation, including LGMA members.  California alone has over 20,000 farms who are subject to these new regulations.

Demonstrating Farm Food Safety

Braga Fresh Family Farms was a wonderful host for the LGMA and FDA.  The FDA film crew documented all the ways that an inspector would verify Produce Safety Rule compliance on a real farm.  We looked at water use, soil amendments, environmental assessments, and worker practices.  Armando Figueroa, Braga Ranch’s Food Safety and Regulatory Compliance Manager, graciously hosted the FDA film crew and LGMA staff.

Implementing the FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The end result of this project is a video that will help to train FDA inspectors, and State partner inspectors (including CDFA) understand best practices for conducting FSMA Produce Safety Rule Compliance audits. Currently, LGMA members are considering updates to the metrics that will ensure that the metrics align with or exceed with the requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

Our Goal: Provide Compliance and Verification

Here at the LGMA, it is our goal to be able to demonstrate to FDA and Produce Buyers that our members are in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule requirements through a frequent audit program that uses government inspectors.

Partnering with FDA

Over the past five years we have worked with the FDA as they have been developing federal food safety laws under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  The FSMA Rule that applies to most LGMA members is the Produce Safety Rule.  We have offered several Farm Food Safety tours to FDA staff tasked with creating the Produce Safety Rule in order to help them understand how more than 70% of U.S. lettuce and leafy greens crops are produced.

To learn more about the FDA’s Produce Safety Rule visit our Resource Center.

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