FDA and USDA Align Produce Safety Inspection Requirements
The joint goal of this effort is to improve fresh produce safety and streamline the requirements of the USDA’s Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Audit Program (H-GAP) with the requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act's produce safety rule. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb sends a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in which he said that the two programs aren't the same, but the H-GAP audits are another tool farmers can use to show buyers they're implementing food safety standards under the produce rule. The new policy, Gottlieb wrote, "will further help farmers by enabling them to better assess their food safety practices as they prepare to comply with the FSMA Produce Rule and by providing produce farmers with certifications that they can use to help gain market access." This alliance between FDA and USDA. Should help producers meet federal regulatory requirements @ https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm609830.htm
Letter from Commissioner Gottlieb to Secretary Perdue Recognizing Joint Produce Safety Achievement Under Formal Agreement
Over the past months, USDA’s Specialty Crops Program in the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) successfully collaborated with FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to align the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (H-GAPs) Audit Program with the minimum requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (FSMA Produce Rule).