Workshop to discuss FDA’s Proposed Water Rule for Produce Farms

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How does FDA’s Proposed Water Rule impact NC produce farms?

On December 2, 2021 FDA published the proposed content that would replace the original water provisions in the Produce Safety Rule for produce farms. This new approach sets requirements on how to manage water that is likely to come in contact with the edible portion of the crop. The requirements for water used in post harvest operations were not changed.

Under this proposal, farms would be required to conduct annual systems-based agricultural water assessments to determine and guide appropriate measures to minimize potential risks associated with pre-harvest agricultural water. The assessment would include an evaluation of the water system, agricultural water use practices, crop characteristics, environmental conditions, potential impacts on source water by activities conducted on adjacent and nearby land, and other relevant factors, such as the results of optional water testing. A summary of the new approach can be found in these factsheets published by FDA:

Agricultural Water Proposed Rule

Full Proposal

In the proposal, FDA states they want to receive input from growers on these provisions. Consider this a unique opportunity for you as a produce grower to share how the proposed regulation may impact your operations before the proposal is final.

With all this in mind, our NC State Extension Produce Safety Team is putting together a session before the Vegetable Conference starts on February 23, 2022 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Asheville, NC at the Mt. Pisgah Room from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

During this session we will go over the proposed rule and assist growers that would like to submit their comments to FDA.

There is no cost to attend this session or registration for this event. If you have any questions please contact Area Specialized Agent- Food Safety, Elena Rogers, at or via phone at 828-352-2519.