Laws, Rules, and Regulations
Federal, state and local governments
regulate food safety.
At the federal level, the U.S. Food and
Drug Agency (FDA) is responsible for laws and regulations related to the safety
of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prior to the Food Safety Modernization Act of
2011 (FSMA), fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables were exempt from many
food safety regulations because they are considered raw agricultural products.
FSMA gave the FDA new authority and responsibility over fresh fruits and
vegetables. As new FSMA-authorized regulations are developed and implemented,
requirements for fruit and vegetable farmers will change. Growers will need to
learn about the new rules and how to implement them in order to remain in
State departments of health typically
handle food safety regulations and enforcement on a state level, and often
represent the FDA within the state. States may have more restrictive rules than
the FDA. As FSMA regulations are implemented, expect that state regulations may
change as well, and make plans to stay informed.
County, city, and other local health
departments may also regulate fresh fruits and vegetables in the interests of
The resources below provide additional
information about FSMA, and state and local regulations. Every farm should take
time to figure out which rules apply, and how to meet the requirements of the