The Food and Drug Administration is providing flexibility for when states may begin conducting routine inspections of small farms, the agency said.
The FDA said routine inspections of small farms, other than sprouts operations, subject to the Produce Safety Rule, will generally begin in the spring of 2020. However, the FDA said in a release that states receiving competition A/B funding as part of the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program may begin routine inspections as early as Jan. 1.
“This clarification is being made after several requests from states to have greater flexibility to align routine inspections with the winter growing season where applicable,” the FDA said. The agency said in the release individual states will make final decisions on whether to initiate their first routine inspections of small farms at the earlier date in January 2020.
“States that want to begin routine inspections of small farms, other than sprouts operations, on January 1, 2020, should prioritize completing their planned inspections of large farms subject to the rule before conducting routine inspections of those small farms,” the agency said.