FDA Adjusts FSMA Enforcement of Almonds, Wine Grapes, Others

Producers of certain crops will not be expected to meet current requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.


“The Food Safety Modernization Act empowered the FDA to enact a more modern, preventive and risk-based approach to food safety. We’ve worked closely with food producers to implement FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule, which for the first time, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.

"As part of this collaborative process, we’ve received important feedback on the application of this rule from stakeholders of certain commodities, including hops, wine grapes, pulse crops and almonds,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

“In taking this step, we’ve considered the use of unique production processes that reduce the presence of foodborne pathogens. We’re announcing today that we’re not expecting hops, wine grapes, pulse crops and almonds producers to meet the requirements of the rule currently. Given the nature of these specific commodities, and the low risk that these products pose because of the way that they’re processed and consumed, we do not expect producers of these commodities to comply with the Produce Safety Rule.

"It is always our goal to be as transparent as possible when communicating our expectations to our stakeholders and by working closely with food producers as we continue to implement FSMA, we can help ensure that the U.S. continues to have one of the safest food supplies in the world.”

Basically, this means the agency does not intend to enforce requirements of the rule for farmers and producers of these commodities. The final guidance can be found here.