New Hampshire/Vermont to Host Listening Session for Proposed Rules to Federal Food Safety Law

Contact:

Shelley Mehlenbacher – Shelley.mehlenbacher@state.vt.us or 802-828-2421
Abbey Willard – abbey.willard@state.vt.us or 802-272-2885

Regional Farmers and Food Processors Invited to Attend

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food will host a Listening Session on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013, in Hanover, NH, in the Alumni Hall Auditorium in the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, to offer farmers and food processors an opportunity to get clarification on proposed rules under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session, which will take place from 9:30am – 12:30pm in the Alumni Hall Auditorium. The meeting is open to all interested parties.

FSMA, the most sweeping reform of our nation’s food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. The first two of five rules under FSMA were proposed this January; Public comments are due November 13, 2013.

The Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce rule proposes enforceable safety standards for the production and harvesting of produce on farms. The Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule would require makers of food to be sold in the United States, whether produced at a foreign- or domestic-based facility, to develop a formal plan for preventing food products from causing food borne illness. A full copy of the proposed rules is available for viewing through the following links:

All growers, manufacturers, and anyone interested in fresh produce safety and manufacturing of human food is encouraged to comment on the proposed rules. The comment period will remain open until November 13, 2013. There are two ways to submit comments to FDA:

1)     Comment electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FDA-2011-N-0921

2)     Written comments may be faxed to the FDA at 301-827-6870 or you may mail them to:

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)

Food and Drug Administration

5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061

Rockville, MD 20852

For more information about FSMA and the August 20th Listening Session, visit http://agriculture.nh.gov/divisions/markets/food-safety-act.htm

Or contact:

New Hampshire:          

Gail McWilliam Jellie – gail.mcwilliam.jellie@agr.nh.gov or 603-271-3788
Jennifer Gornnert – Jennifer.gornnert@agr.nh.gov or 603-271-7761

Vermont:                     

Shelley Mehlenbacher – Shelley.mehlenbacher@state.vt.us or 802-828-2421
Abbey Willard – abbey.willard@state.vt.us or 802-272-2885