Food-safety inspectors begin visits to produce farms, packing houses

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Not that there haven’t been plenty of warnings, not the least in the form of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act that calls for inspectors to visit produce farms and packing houses under the act’s Produce Safety Rule.The rule opens the way for inspections, which began in July this year, for farms and orchards making more than $500,000 in annual gross product sales. Smaller farms will have another year to come into compliance with the rule.As for packing houses, even though there have been some questions over whether a packing house is a farm or not, the FDA is developing an amendment to the rule that may have more to do with what happens in the packing house than who owns the packing house. In any case, the FDA wants all packing companies to follow the packing and holding requirements of the Produce Safety Rule or the good manufacturing practices portion of the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule.

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