Food for human and animal consumption, except for meat, poultry, and egg products that are exclusively regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Act does not alter the
jurisdiction between FDA and USDA.
Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Relating to Agricultural Water; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is proposing to amend the agricultural water provisions of the produce safety regulation that covered farms have found complex and challenging to implement. This proposal would replace the microbial criteria and testing requirements for pre-harvest agricultural water for covered produce (other than sprouts) with provisions for systems-based agricultural water assessments that are designed to be more feasible to implement across the wide variety of agricultural water systems, uses, and practices, while also being adaptable to future advancements in agricultural water quality science and achieving improved public health protections. Additionally, we are proposing to require expedited mitigation for hazards related to certain activities associated with adjacent and nearby lands, in light of findings from several recent produce outbreak investigations. These proposed revisions to the produce safety regulation, if finalized, would more comprehensively address a known route of microbial contamination that can lead to preventable foodborne illness that is a significant public health problem.