The Food and Drug Administration released guidelines for produce imported from around the world to ensure it meets U.S. health and safety standards.
As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the set of rules governing produce will help catch issues in the food supply before they occur, instead of after illness develops.
There are three sets of rules -- the Produce Safety rule, the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule, and the Accredited Third-Party Certification rule.
The Produce Safety rule sets holistic standards for farms, including water quality, employee health, soil quality and equipment.
Under the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule, importers are required to meet U.S. safety standards. Accredited third parties are also given license to conduct safety audits under the Accredited Third-Party Certification rule.
The FDA pointed out that 19 percent of the U.S. food supply is imported, including 52 percent of fresh fruits and 22 percent of fresh vegetables.
- FDA releases groundbreaking food safety rules for produce farms and imported food to modernize and strengthen food safety system (FDA News Release)
- FDA Finalizes FSMA Produce Safety Rule, Food Import Rules (Food Safety News)
- FDA issues final rules on produce safety, imported foods (AgWeek)