Home News Ag Economics FDA to Host Webinar on the FSMA Final Rule on Pre-Harvest Agricultural Water

FDA to Host Webinar on the FSMA Final Rule on Pre-Harvest Agricultural Water

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The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will hold an informational webinar on Monday, May 20, 2024, 1-2pm ET on the recently released Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Relating to Agricultural Water (Agricultural Water Final Rule) issued under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The rule represents an important step towards enhancing the safety of produce, as agricultural water can be a major conduit for pathogens that can contaminate produce.

During the webinar, the FDA will provide an overview of the final rule and answer pre-submitted questions as well as take live questions.

The final rule replaces certain pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for covered produce (other than sprouts) in the 2015 produce safety rule with requirements for systems-based agricultural water assessments to determine and guide appropriate measures to minimize potential risks associated with pre-harvest agricultural water. Specifically, this rule:

  • Establishes requirements for agricultural water assessments that evaluate a variety of factors that are key determinants of contamination risks associated with pre-harvest agricultural water; this includes an evaluation of the water system, water use practices, crop characteristics, environmental conditions, potential impacts on water from adjacent and nearby land, and other relevant factors;
  • Includes testing pre-harvest agricultural water as part of an assessment in certain circumstances;
  • Requires farms to implement effective mitigation measures within specific timeframes based on findings from their assessments. Hazards related to certain activities associated with adjacent and nearby land uses are subject to expedited mitigation; and
  • Adds new options for mitigation measures, providing farms with additional flexibility in responding to findings from their pre-harvest agricultural water assessments.

The rule also finalizes the dates for compliance with the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for non-sprout covered produce as follows:

  • For very small farms: 2 years, 9 months after the effective date of the final rule
  • For small farms: 1 year, 9 months after the effective date of the final rule
  • For all other farms: 9 months after the effective date of the final rule

Register at: FSMA Final Rule on Pre-Harvest Agricultural Water Webinar

The webinar is a virtual event. Registration will remain open until the day of the webinar. Attendees who wish to submit questions may do so during registration through May 15.

The webinar will be recorded and posted to the meeting page.

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