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FDA Produce Safety Rule

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US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) contains seven rules with the goal to transform food borne illness and outbreak response from reaction to prevention. The FSMA rule "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption", also known as The Produce Safety Rule, was created to assist the fruit and vegetable farming and production industry with this transformation. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables for human consumption.  The rule provides guidance for hazard identification and corrective actions in the following areas:

  • Worker Training, Health, and Hygiene 
  • Equipment, Tools, Buildings, and Sanitation 
  • Agricultural Water (Production, Harvest, and Post-Harvest) 
  • Biological Soil Amendments 
  • Domesticated and Wild Animals 
  • Sprout Production 

We help growers and industry professionals prepare for and comply with FDA’s FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Produce Safety Rule. We offer the following services:

  • Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) trainings
  • On-Farm Readiness Reviews
  • Assistance in crafting Farm Food Safety Plans
  • Education, Outreach and Technical Assistance
  • Legislative and Policy Research


We are a team of produce and food safety experts, from within Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa State University (see members below).  Our first goal is to conduct needs assessments for Iowa produce growers.  The second is to develop trainings, extension programs, and a farm inventory.  The work should all align with state programs and activities for FDA’s Produce Safety Rule. 

This project is funded by the State and Territory Cooperative Agreement to Enhance Produce Safety in Preparation of Implementation of FDA’s Rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.  This is FDA grant 1U18FD005810-01 (CFDA #93.102- Food and Drug Administration Research.)

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Produce Safety Training Events

teaching a courseProduce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Safety Training courses - Remote and in-person  
December 15 2022 - Remote Virtual (Zoom) 
January 11 2023 - Boone IA 
January 24, 26 2023 (Two-day event) - Remote Virtual (Zoom) 
February 8 2023 - Iowa City IA
March 7, 9 2023 (Two-day event) - Remote Virtual (Zoom) 

All trainings cost $20 for Iowa growers and $120 for out-of-state growers. 
PSA Grower Training course registration

The PSA also offers online courses These are courses where you work at your own pace and submit assignments to an instructor during a three-week time.  Growers would need internet access, but it would work with less reliable connections.

Interested?  Contact us (515-294-6773) and we'll help you connect with a course.  

* Request can be made for a special course for more than six participants.

What is the training:
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement.  Section § 112.22(c) requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’  Get more information about the PSA course.

remote course

Participants must be present for the entire eight-hour course to get credit for attending.

The Training is Designed For:
The PSA Grower Training courses are designed for growers of fruits and vegetables.  If you are a fruit or vegetable processor, visit Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance for more information on trainings. 

How Much:
$20 for Iowa growers.  $120 for all other states. 
Fee includes PSA manual and certificate of completion.  Lunch is provided at in-person trainings.

It is strongly recommended individuals with little to no previous Good Agricultural Practices experience or education view the Iowa GAP 1 videos prior to attendance.  The videos can be accessed free of charge. 

It would also be helpful to be familiar with the content of #1 and #3 in this Penn State series.  They are 5 and 10 minutes long.

On-Farm Readiness Reviews

On-farm food safety consultations are happening again! Sign up for a consultation and contact us with any questions at 

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conducts voluntary on-farm assessments.  These help Iowa growers prepare for FDA farm inspections conducted under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR).  Since 2019, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach On-Farm Produce Safety Team has offered reviews.  The team works with Iowa farms that grow, harvest, pack and hold vegetable and fruit for human consumption and use diverse production practices.
The purpose of the OFRR process is to:
 Prepare Iowa farmers for implementation of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule (PSR)
 Help growers better understand how to translate the PSR on their farm
 Help growers assess their readiness for implementation of the FSMA PSR
 Provide guidance on how to get individual farms into compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The On-Farm Readiness reviews are free of charge, done on a voluntary basis, and take less than 2 hours to complete. There are two pre-requisite requirements for interested growers:
1) At least one person on the farm must have been trained and received the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training certificate; and
2) On-Farm Readiness Reviews are done when produce is being grown, harvested, and/or post-harvest handled.

Sign up for your review.

Wondering about what an OFRR might look like?  These Iowa State University Extension and Outreach videos walk through the process for an OFRR for pre-harvest and an OFRR post-harvest.


Read more about the impact of our work is having for produce growers here in Iowa.