Where Does My Farm Fall Under the Produce Safety Rule in 2021?

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FDA just released “adjusted inflation cutoffs” that are used to determine how produce farms will be affected by FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule (PSR) in 2021. FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule has provisions in which values are adjusted for inflation and averaged over 3 years. The Produce Safety Rule requires that farms comply with the guidelines published based on where the produce farm falls in the regulation. Farms can fall into one of three categories:

  1. Not covered
  2. Eligible for a qualified exemption and modified requirements
  3. Covered farm

When the PSR was passed by Congress in 2011, the base value for produce sales to determine if a farm was not covered by the regulation was $25,000. The new value to be used in 2021 is $28,561. The original figure to determine if a farm was to be considered a covered farm back in 2011 was $500,000 for food sales. For 2021, the adjusted value is $571,214.

These values are important to do the calculations necessary to determine where farms fall in the PSR but are not the only important pieces of information. In order to help produce farms do the calculations, the Produce Safety Team has put together a template that will take you step-by-step through the calculations required and provide you with a summary of the responsibilities farms have under this regulation.

In order to complete the template you need records of produce sales and food sales for the last three years and a list of the buyers you sold to. The template is for farms to outline where they fall in the regulation in order to help you understand the rule and also seek help if you need assistance. In the event your farm is eligible for a qualified exemption with modified requirements, this template can serve as part of the financial record required for this category. The farm does not need to mail or share this information with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Produce Safety office or any other entity unless you are formally requested to do so by one of NCDA&CS’s Produce Safety inspectors during routine inspections and visits.

Link to the template: Template for farms to determine their status with the PSR in 2021

If you would like to learn more about FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule visit the NC State Extension Fresh Produce Safety Portal.

If you need assistance filling out the template or have questions about the PSR contact: Elena Rogers – Area Specialized Agent- Food Safety/Fresh Produce in Western NC or Dr. Chip Simmons – Area Specialized Agent- Food Safety/Fresh Produce in Eastern North Carolina.