Food Safety Modernization Act, Self Assessments, and Guidance Tools

The Food Safety and Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011 and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was charged with leading the implementation process. The Produce Safety Rule was prepared with input from the industry, and finalized in late 2015. The rule became effective on 26 January 2016. The FDA has prepared a website which contains guidance documents and the full text of the rule at:

GLOBALG.A.P. recommends that producers go directly to the FDA for their source of information and guidance whenever possible. FSMA compliance is frequently misinterpreted and stakeholders should rely on official information from federal agencies whevener possible.

How GLOBALG.A.P. can help

Many synergies exist between the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard for Fruit and Vegetables and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Recognizing the need to aid producers in understanding how FSMA compliance relates to the leading GLOBALG.A.P. IFA Standard, the GLOBALG.A.P. United Statues Crops National Technical Working group conducted a detailed comparative analysis of the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Standard Version 5 against the Produce Safety Rule. The results showed that producers complying with the complete requirements of the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA Standard meet the majority of the Produce Safety Rule requirements, but some fundamental differences also exist. A guidance document was prepared to help growers understand where the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and the GLOBALG.A.P. are aligned, and were the differences are. A grower can complete the self-assessment to assist in compliance with FSMA.

It should be noted that this document does not replace knowledge of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule or guarantee compliance. GLOBALG.A.P. is not a regulatory agency, and the control points noted will not be included or scored with any official GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance Fruit and Vegetable audit.

At this time, GLOBALG.A.P. has provided guidance documents in support of the Produce Safety Rule. Guidance documents in support of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and the Good Manufacturing Practices Rule have not been developed by GLOBALG.A.P. and there are no immediate plans to do so, as these rules fall outside of the scope of GLOBALG.A.P.'s primary field-based farm assurance standards.

GLOBALG.A.P. is now developing an Add-on to our Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard for Fruit/Vegetables that will complete our coverage of the FDA's FSMA Produce Rule. The Add-on content is based on the FSMA Guide and Self-Assessment that we published in December 2016. We have received overwhelming affirmation of the need for an auditable FSMA solution for producers in the USA and around the world with USA as a destination market. We are aiming for a Q1 2018 launch

Get more information

If you have additional questions about the FSMA Self-Assessment or would like more information about the commonalities and differences between the GLOBALG.A.P IFA Fruit & Vegetables and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, please contact our North American office at: