The resource headlines which begin with "Subpart" specifically related 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.
Is your farm exempt from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule?
Enroll in the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets' Vermont Produce Portal today!
We encourage all Vermont farms that grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce to enroll in the Vermont Produce Portal. After enrolling, Produce Program staff will help you determine whether your farm is covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and understand your farm's requirements. You will also be able to access the following resources:
- The opportunity to request an On-Farm Readiness Review
- Early registration for Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings in Vermont
- Eligibility for Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants to help pay for on-farm improvements
- Policy and news updates on produce safety resources and requirements
You may also use the resources below to help determine whether your farm is subject to the Produce Safety Rule:
If you are a vegetable producer, retailer, distributor, service provider, or regulator, you will find information on the Produce Safety Portal to help you better understand produce safety issues. The University of Vermont Extension Produce Portal is a one-stop site for you to access essential information as well as contribute to a curated repository of produce safety and related resources.
By searching the Portal, you can identify useful materials and follow links directly to the sources of that information. The resources in the Portal (e.g. fact sheets, case studies, photos, and much more) have been contributed by many different people in the farming community in Vermont and beyond. Resources can be added by approved account members and are reviewed by site moderators.
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requires that "at least one supervisor or responsible party" from every farm covered under the rule "complete food safety training recognized as adequate by the FDA (21 C.F.R. §112.22(c)). The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course satisfies this requirement. Find Upcoming Grower Trainings.
The Vermont Produce Safety Continuum
The Vermont Produce Program developed what is referred to as the Produce Safety Continuum, a visual representation of the different ways a grower may engage in on-farm produce safety. View the Continuum here.
Resources by Produce Safety Rule Subpart
Subpart D - Health and Hygiene
- When to Wash Your Hands
- How to Wash Your Hands
- Opening Your Farm to Visitors - Farm Signage
- Agritourism - Hand Washing Signage
- Worker Health & Hygiene Best Practices
Subpart E - Agricultural Water
- Agricultral Water Testing Labs in VT and Neighboring States
- Water Sampling 101
- Equivalent Testing Methods for Agricultural Water
- Calculating Microbial Water Quality Profile
Subpart F - Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin (BSAAO)
Subpart I - Domesticated and Wild Animals
- Balancing Food Safety and Domesticated Animals on Produce Farms
- Farm Visitors and their Furry Friends
- Service Animal Factsheet
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
- University of Vermont Produce Safety Portal
- UVM Extension AgEngineering Blog
- Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont
- Food Safety at UVM Extension
- UVM Extension Food & Nutrition Programs
- Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower Pages
Regional & National Resources
- Produce Safety Alliance, Cornell University
- 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.
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, educator, buyer, distributor, or consumer 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.