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Produce Safety Standards and Regulations

Produce Safety Standards and Regulations

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GHPs) may be required by buyers who want to ensure specific food safety standards are met on produce farms and in produce processing facilities. In 2015, the federal Food Safety Modernization Act final rules for produce and processing (FDA Produce Safety Rules and Preventive Control Rules) were released that will require new standards for farmers both in production and processing.. Luckily WSDA, WSU and the FDA are here to support you in understanding how this may or may not affect your farm business. The informational guides, hands-on workshops, and educational videos below are listed to help navigate the on-farm regulatory requirements to produce certain products for sale.


Farm Safety

Growing Things Cauliflower
Vegetables primarily eaten raw such as cauliflower, must meet new FSMA requirements - Photo: Zachary D. Lyons

Washington State Department of Agriculture
The second edition of the Bridging the GAPs Farm Guide: Good Agricultural Practices and On-Farm Food Safety for Small, Mid-sized, and Diversified Fruit and Vegetable Farms provides a comprehensive explanation of GAP and FSMA standards. The guide focuses on helping small farms navigate what applies to their operation and learn practical implementation practices. Some features to highlight:

Sno Valley Rowan shiitake mushrooms
Rowan with a case of shiitake from his mushroom farm - Photo: Zachary D. Lyons

Food Safety Modernization Act U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Produce Rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption

There are also translated resources available for the Produce Rule:

Am I affected by the Food Safety Rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act? (1.7MB PDF) A Flowchart for Farmers and Food Businesses by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

How is your farm affected? Coverage and Exemptions Flowchart - 95KB PDF

Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule: Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food. This FDA regulation applies to processed or manufactured foods. See Farm Product Regulations page for more information on regulations for specific food products. Fact Sheet Available in the following languages:

WSDA Regulations for Food Safety: FAQ on the Food Safety Modernization Act - General overview of both FDA Preventive Controls and FDA Produce Rule


Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Handbook for Small and Direct Marketing Farms section on Regulations for Specific Products covers the specific requirements for selling produce such as:


Washington State University Food and Produce Safety provides produce safety trainings throughout the year on the following topics:

Washington State Department of Agriculture Workshops and trainings on food safety (GAPs, FSMA, and others) through its Bridging the GAPs project, Small Farm Direct Marketing Program, and other programs. See the WSDA calendar for news on upcoming events.


Instructional Videos on Permitting Certain Products, Food Processing and Retail Permitting

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) - Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)

GAPs and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Planning - WSDA


FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: A Primer by FDA

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