Still Trying to Figure Out if Your Farm Needs to Comply with the Produce Safety Rule of FSMA?

by Heather Bryant, UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist, Grafton County.

If I said to you, are you “not covered”, “qualified exempt” or “covered” would you know what I’m talking about?  If the answer is no, you are not alone!  But it’s the first step in figuring out what to do next.  UNH Cooperative Extension’s FSMA team has posted some online tools that will help you figure out which category applies to your farm.

  • Step 1:  Watch the following YouTube video, ask yourself where your farm falls.
  • Step 2:  Follow this flowchart from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, does it confirm where you thought your farm would fall after watching the video?
  • Step 3:  Answer the questions in this online tool.

If you don’t get the same answer from all three tools, contact a member of our FSMA team.

Now that you know which category your farm is in, ask yourself if you can prove it.  Collect all your sales records going back three years if it’s easy, but if not start with January of 2016.  Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. What are my total produce sales? (produce is fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts and nuts)
  2. What are my total food sales? (and remember the FDA is defining food as everything edible by a human or animal, ie cucumbers, mushrooms, bacon, hay, milk, eggs, etc.)
  3. What are my total sales to qualified end users (consumers; restaurants and grocery stores in your state or within 275 miles of your farm)

For assistance with record keeping questions contact Seth Wilner.

Most farms in NH are going to fall under the category of “not covered” or “qualified exempt”, but for those “covered” farms that do need to comply with the entirety of the rule, please stay tuned.  We are collaborating with partners in Maine to offer a 2-day training, April 11-12, 2017, and we will make more details available soon.

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