Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are among mandatory categories to be added to food facility registration forms if a draft guidance document from the Food and Drug Administration is adopted.

The agency released the draft, the first of four planned food facility registration guidance documents, Aug. 14 through its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The draft published in the Federal Register Aug. 15.

The changes apply to domestic and foreign food facilities.

The updated forms are mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act. Consequently, even though the FDA is referring to the Aug. 14 document as a “guidance” document, it will carry the weight of law and will not be optional, according to information on the FDA’s website.

The agency plans to add 11 new mandatory categories on the food facility registration forms, including the categories for fresh-cut produce and raw agricultural commodities.

“Requiring the submission of food product category information as part of a facility’s registration is necessary to allow for a quick, accurate, and focused response to an actual or potential bioterrorist incident or other food-related emergency,” the FDA stated in material accompanying the draft.

The FDA is accepting questions and comments on the changes. Questions should be directed to CFSAN at 240-402-1988. Comments can be submitted online.

Comments can be mailed to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should include the docket number FDA–2012–D–0585.