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Food Safety News

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small farm food safety

More local food, more food safety risk, more federal grants

With industry reporting that sales of “local foods” more than doubled from 2008 to 2014, concerns about public safety also increased, spurring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer almost $5 million in new food safety grants. The money is to help smaller operations comply with new food safety guidelines established by the Food and… Continue Reading

Small plus local doesn’t equal a free pass on food safety

There’s a revolution going on in a grocery store near you. Fueled by consumer demand, it has been dubbed the “fresh revolution” by industry heavyweights such as the United Fresh Produce Association. It’s all about fresh produce — fruits and vegetables that nutritionists are praising as “healthy foods” and that shoppers are increasingly seeking out…. Continue Reading

FSMA’s Small Farm Exemption Has Its Limits

Food and farm advocates seem to agree that the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is somewhat limited in what it can do for small farmers and producers as it implements the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). When Congress passed FSMA in 2011, it gave FDA a statutory mandate, as well as a degree of… Continue Reading

Proposed Rule for Food Processors Alarms Some, Confuses Many

“Coming down like a ton of bricks.” “Complicated and interwoven.” “Costly.” “The end of many small- and mid-size farms and food processors.” “Never heard of it.” “A work in progress.” When asked about FDA’s new proposed rule for food processing facilities, that’s how a sustainable-agriculture advocate, a food-safety expert for a large fresh produce association,… Continue Reading

FDA Expands Outreach to Farmers Concerned About FSMA Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday stepped up its outreach to small- and medium-sized growers by launching more resources to help explain the sweeping new food safety rules. The move comes after several news outlets ran stories highlighting farmers’ concerns about the costs of the regulations, which were mandated by Congress in the… Continue Reading

Merrigan Expresses Worry About FSMA’s Impact on Agriculture

Kathleen Merrigan, who recently left her role as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said this week she is concerned about the negative impact the Food Safety Modernization Act could have on small- and medium-sized farms. According to a report by AgriPulse, Merrigan made the remarks at CropLife America’s National Policy… Continue Reading

Washington Videos Help Small Farmers With Food Safety

As part of its “Bridging the Gaps” program, the Washington State Department of Agriculture launched a new video in its effort to help small and diversified growers meet Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). The video, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Block Grant, features a group of farmers, food buyers and… Continue Reading

Powerful Coalition Gains Exemption for Small Farmers

Russell Libby and Brian Snyder walked out of the Rayburn House Office Building on a brilliant spring day in April 2009 shaking their heads. The two were on Capitol Hill representing the interests of small farms as Congress drafted legislation to revamp the food safety system. Congressional staffers had just informed the pair that, in… Continue Reading