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Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)


The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. 

FSMA is comprised of several Final Rules that address different areas of food safety:

Final Rule on Produce Safety
The rule establishes, for the first time, science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. Key requirements focus on agricultural water; biological soil amendments; sprouts; domesticated and wild animals; worker training, health, and hygiene; and equipment, tools, building.

Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Animal Food
The rule establishes Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), requires Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) for animal feed, and mandates a recall plan. There is an exemption to this rule for fully integrated farming operations.

Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food
The rule applies to shippers, receivers, loaders, and carriers who transport food in the U.S. by motor or rail vehicle. All transportation activities performed by a farm are excluded from the rule, but farms are still subject to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act provisions that prohibit the holding of food under insanitary conditions.

Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food
The rule requires manufacturing and/or processing facilities to establish and implement HACCP. This rule does not apply to operations meeting the definition of “farm.”

Final Rule for Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration
The rule applies to domestic and foreign companies that are required to register under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act.  Companies must do vulnerability assessments and implement mitigation strategies to provide assurances that vulnerabilities will be minimized or prevented. Farms are not required to register and are not covered by this rule.

Final Rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals
The rule requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that food imported into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. safety standards. This rule has no impact on Maryland farmers—other than assuring that produce or other food imported from foreign countries must meet the same food safety standards as U.S. growers and processors​.

Final Rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification​
The rule addresses requirements for accreditation bodies and third-party certification bodies seeking accreditation. The certification body would be used by importers to establish eligibility for participation in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program which offers expedited review and entry of food.  FDA may also require certification in certain circumstances to prevent potentially harmful food from reaching the U.S. This rule has no impact on Maryland farmers.


Contact Information

Deanna Baldwin
Program Manager
Food Quality Assurance
Telephone: 410-841-5769

Tom Phillips​
Program Manager
State Chemist
Telephone: 410-841-2721​ ​  


2018 Produce Safety Training:

11/7/2018: Food Safety Training for FSMA Compliance. ​View the event brochure and register to attend at the links below.

On-Farm Readiness Reviews:

Readiness Reviews are offered without charge to help farmers better understand and meet the requirements of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. To request a review, please fill out and submit the word document linked below, or fill out the linked google form.

Farm Inventory Registration:

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is compiling an inventory of farms located in the state that may be covered under the Produce Safety Rule. Registering will allow us to provide technical assistance and outreach about important compliance information and program updates, as well as better allocate resources for inspections. To register, please fill out the linked google form below.​


Consumer Information Posters: