Michigan's Produce Safety Risk Assessment Program
The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (21 CFR § 112) is a major overhaul to our nation’s food safety practices and includes new mandatory regulations for farms and facilities that grow, harvest, pack, or store produce typically eaten raw.
As a result, FSMA impacts many Michigan produce growers and businesses, and we, at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), are focusing efforts to assist you in understanding how your farm may be affected and what steps you need to take to be in compliance as the new law is rolled out.
Produce Farm Registration
Farms that grow produce covered under the Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to take the farm survey proviced by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at:
The information you provide in the survey will help MDARD deliver current and relevant information regarding the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
What is Michigan's Produce Safety Risk Assessment Program?
Michigan's Produce Safety Risk Assessment Program is designed to address the important priority of food safety for Michigan residents, and specifically to address the Michigan Agriculture and Rural Development Commission's interest "to ensure food safety of the emerging small farm/locally grown food community."
Of the estimated 6,500 Michigan fruit and vegetable producers who market directly to consumers, less than five percent participated in a formal USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit in 2010. Michigan's Produce Safety Risk Assessment is aligned with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, but is small farm scale-appropriate to encourage more farmer adoption of cost-effective food safety management practices that can be implemented and maintained by those producers not currently seeking a certified food safety audit. View Michigan's Safe Food Risk Assessment (Safe Food A Syst) Brochure).
Who Should Use the Produce Safety Risk Assessment?
This program is especially designed to educate producers, evaluate on-farm practices, provide food safety technical assistance and recognize small/locally grown fruit and vegetable growers who follow safe food practices. A certificate of completion is awarded when a participating grower implements an action plan to correct potential food safety risks identified on the farm.
The program enhances grower awareness and adoption of safe produce management practices, and is primarily an educational initiative.
The Michigan Produce Safety Risk Assessment is a great first step for producers new to food safety or those seeking guidance on how to come into compliance.
Is Technical Assistance Available to Complete the Produce Safety Risk Assessment?
The voluntary program is delivered by trained produce safety technicians. View Conservation District Produce Safety Technician Coverage Areas.
On Farm Readiness Review
If you are looking for guidance on how to best prepare your farm for a Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (21 CFR § 112) inspection or are interested in enhancing produce safety on your farm, an On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is right for you!
NOTE: If you are just beginning to grow produce or would like a refresher regarding food safety you might want to consider starting with the Produce Safety Risk Assessment. A local Produce Safety Technician in your area can assist you.
What to Expect:
What is an On-Farm Readiness Review?
An On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a non-regulatory, free assessment of a farm’s readiness for inspection under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This is a chance for you to have a one-on-one conversation and farm walk-around with Produce Safety Rule experts to evaluate pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest conditions and practices; assess what you are doing well; and identify areas for improvement in food safety practices on your farm. It is very important that routine farm processes and operations (such as washing, packing, and harvesting activities) are happening during the OFRR so reviewers can make accurate recommendations for produce safety improvements specific to your farm.
Where Can I Find Additional Help with my Questions?
Contact Kristin Esch, Produce Safety Specialist, at 517-930-6592 or EschK@michigan.gov.