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Draft a Produce Safety Plan

The FSMA Produce Safety Rule does not require a written Farm Food Safety Plan, however we have included this section as this tends to be a critical component for implementing Food Safety Practices. A Produce Safety Plan will help growers by:

  • Helping become organized regarding food safety
    • Defines your policies, practices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
    • Aids in identifying any potential risks;
    • Determines actions needed to address those risks; and
    • Allows for the best use of time and resources to reduce biggest risks first.
  • Helping growers to be prepared for:
    • buyer questions and requirements;
    • Third-party audits; and
    • Food safety regulations.

Points to consider when drafting your Produce Safety Plan

  • Your farm is Unique!
    • Practices to reduce risks will be specific to your farm
    • Make sure whatever you decide is practical for your farm
    • Best done by someone who knows the farm and how it operates
  • Each commodity is different
    • Grows on the ground vs grown on trees
    • Harvested by hand or by machine
    • Single vs. multiple harvests
  • Decide who is your produce safety person
    • Each farm should have one person that will take the lead on a Food Safety Plan
    • Should undergo food safety training and have experience to be able to access risks
    • Should have the authority to make changes that may be necessary
    • Should follow through with plan implementation
    • Should be willing to serve as farm safety contact
  • Knowledge is your friend
    • Writing a new plan from scratch can be difficult so it’s best to start with the information you already know, like general farm information and what you do
    • Basic Food Safety Knowledge can go a long way!

Parts to a food safety plan

  • Farm Name and address
  • Farm Description – commodities grown, farm size, etc.
  • Name and Contact Information of the Farm’s Food Safety Point Person
  • Risk assessment of practices and environmental conditions on your farm that may affect food safety. Consider activities like workers and facilities they use, soil amendments in particular the use of raw manure, wildlife and domesticated animals, production and post-harvest water use, post-harvest handling and adjacent land use.
  • Practices to reduce food safety risks
  • Records that document those practices
  • Farm maps (hand drawn maps are okay)
  • Farm Policies
  • SOPs
  • Training Records
  • Agricultural Water test results
  • Emergency contact info
  • Supplier and Buyer information
  • Traceability and recall plans
  • Contact info for contracted services

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Contact Produce Safety
Ananda Fraser, Produce Safety Program Coordinator
RI Department of Environmental Management
Division of Agriculture
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-2781 ext. 2772411
Abigail Phillips, Programming Service Officer
RI Department of Environmental Management
Division of Agriculture
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-2781 ext. 2774501
Christopher Rueckel, Agriculture Marketing Specialist
RI Department of Environmental Management
Division of Agriculture
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-2781 ext. 2774510