FDA to Hold Public Meetings and Commenting Period on Produce Safety Draft Guidance

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance documents for farms to comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. FDA will accept public input on the draft guidance, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” at four meetings across the country and in written comments. 
 
The draft guidance includes broad recommendations on how to meet the food safety requirements and outlines how to determine eligibility and exemption from certain requirements.
 
Public meetings:
 
November 27, 2018
8:30 a.m. ‐ 5:00 p.m.
 
Hilton Portland Downtown 
921 SW Sixth Ave.
Portland, OR 97204
 
November 29, 2018
8:30 a.m. ‐ 5:00 p.m.
 
Doubletree Suites by Hilton/Anaheim Resort Convention Center
2085 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92802
 
December 11, 2018
8:30 a.m. ‐ 5:00 p.m.
 
Hilton Albany
40 Lodge St.
Albany, NY 12207
 
December 13, 2018
8:30 a.m. ‐ 5:00 p.m.
 
Embassy Suites Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park
267 Marietta St.
Atlanta, GA 30313
 
Stakeholders must register to participate in the meetings. The public meetings will provide further information and discussion on the rule. The meetings will focus on requirements within the rule such as: general provisions; personnel qualifications and training; health and hygiene; biological soil amendments of animal origin; domesticated and wild animals; growing, harvesting, packing and holding activities on a farm; equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation; records; and variances. Stakeholder panels will discuss various issues with opportunities for public comments and questions.
 
Written comments:
 
The written commenting period closes on April 22, 2019. Written comments can be submitted to regulations.gov using docket number FDA-2018-D-3631
 
Written comments can also be mailed to: 
Docket Management Staff (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-D-3631. 
 
For more information about the commenting opportunity and draft guidance, please contact Samir Assar, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at FDA, at (240) 402-1636.

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