The FDA released several documents specific to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Large farming operations will still be expected to meet all produce safety requirements set by the rule for produce other than sprouts, except those related to agricultural water, by the original January 26, 2018 compliance date. However, FDA Commissioner Dr. Gottlieb announced that inspections to assess compliance with the non-water requirements of the Produce Safety Rule for produce other than sprouts will not begin until 2019.
The FDA released a proposed rule regarding the extension of compliance dates for the water portion of the Produce Safety Rule. If finalized, this rule would extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements by an additional two to four years (for produce other than sprouts). The proposed extension will give the agency time to take another look at the water standards to ensure that they are feasible for farmers in all regions of the country, while protecting public health. The new agricultural water compliance date the FDA is proposing for the largest farms is January 26, 2022. Small farms and very small farms would have until January 26, 2023 and January 26, 2024, respectively.