Almond, Wine Grape Growers Exempt from FSMA's Produce Safety Rule

The decision is in response to feedback from stakeholders that wine grapes, hops, pulses and almonds should be handled differently than raw or unprocessed produce.

Agriculture Farm Farming 39511

The FDA issued final guidance this week on its intent to enforce requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule in regards to the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of grapes used to produce wine, hops, pulses and almonds. 

According to the agency’s final guidance, Produce Safety Rule: Enforcement Policy for Entities Growing, Harvesting, Packing, or Holding Hops, Wine Grapes, Pulse Crops, and Almonds, the FDA does not intend to enforce requirements of the rule for farmers and producers of these commodities due to the unique production circumstances and intended uses that reduce the presence of foodborne pathogens. 

The final guidance explains that after reviewing data presented, the FDA does not expect entities growing, harvesting, packing or holding these commodities to meet any of the rule’s requirements while the agency considers pursuing rulemaking to address the unique circumstances of these commodities.