The resource headlines which begin with "Subpart" specifically relate to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule Subparts. However, even if your farm is not covered under the Produce Safety Rule, you will still find these resources very useful to grow produce safety, increase efficiency, and improve work flow on your farm.
Determining whether your farm is subject to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule
All produce growers are encouraged to partner with the Produce Program at the Vermont Agency of Agriulcutre by enrolling in the Vermont Produce Portal. Enrolling in the portal will allow you to:
- Receive policy and news updates on produce safety requirements and resources
- Request an On-Farm Readiness Review (A voluntary, non-regulatory assessment of a farm's produce safety readiness prior to inspection under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.)
- Understand if your farm is subject to the Produce Safety Rule through the direct assistance of a Produce Program staff member.
You may also use the resources below to help determine whether your farm is subject to the Produce Safety Rule:
Subpart D - Health and Hygiene
- When to Wash Your Hands
- How to Wash Your Hands
- Farm Worker Hygiene
- Farm Worker Health, Safety, and First Aid
Subpart E - Agricultural Water
- Irrigation with Produce Safety in Mind
- Equivalent Testing Methods for Agricultural Water
- Water Quality Testing
- How To Take Water Samples
- Rinsing and Packing with Produce Safety in Mind
- Calculating Microbial Water Quality Profile
Subpart F - Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin
Subpart I - Domesticated and Wild Animals
Subpart K - Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding Activities
Subpart L - Equipment, Tools, Buildings, and Sanitation
Produce Safety Pack Shed Design & Construction Videos
Check out these videos produced by UVM’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture on pack shed design and construction. They star Vermont farmers and offer tips for operations of all sizes and styles. The Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and USDA Risk Management Agency provided funding for this project.
- Packshed Design: Building a small open produce packshed with the beginning farmers at Flywheel Farm
- Packshed Design: Renovating an old dairy barn for use as a packshed on the certified organic High Meadows Farm
- Packshed Design: Expanding to accommodate business growth in the diversified operation at Jericho Settlers Farm
Additional Resources at UVM Extension
- Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont
- Food Safety at UVM Extension
- Practical Produce Safety at UVM Extension
- UVM Extension Food & Nutrition Programs
- Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower Pages
- Practical Produce Safety
Regional & National Resources
- Produce Safety Alliance, Cornell University
- USDA GAP & GHP (Good Agricultural Practices & Good Handling Practices)
- National Association of State Departments of Agriculture – Food Regulation
Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops including fruits and vegetables, honey, maple, hops, Christmas trees and nursery crops.
VAAFM also conducts Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits for fresh fruit and vegetable producers. GAP is a voluntary certification program overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). For more information about GAP, visit our USDA GAP & GHP page.
VVBGA Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS)
Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) is a program of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA). CAPS is a voluntary, practical approach to documenting the use of practices that reduce food safety risks on farms that grow fresh produce. CAPS is a food safety market access program that can be used in lieu of GAP for participating retailers.
Agency staff also work closely with the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont Extension, the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA), and the Vermont Department of Health, among other state partners, on produce safety issues and FSMA implementation.
If you are a producer or operator with questions or concerns about FSMA or produce safety, we want to hear from you! Email AGR.FSMA@vermont.gov or call (802) 828-2433.