Walnuts shaken from trees are mechanically picked up at in a walnut grove east of Visalia.
Written by David Castellon
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has launched a website to educate farmers on how to comply with new federal food-safety regulations.
The Produce Safety Rule went into effect nationwide in January, setting new food-safety procedures for all farms producing commercial fruits, nuts and vegetables in the U.S.
The CDFA website introduces users to the Produce Safety Program, a newly-created unit operating under CDFA’s Inspection Services Division that next year will start conducting on-farm inspections on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to verify compliance with the new rules.
“It’s estimated some 20,000 California produce farms are covered under this new regulation,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “The job of bringing these farms into compliance with the Produce Safety Rule is a very large task, and CDFA is committed to working with farmers to give them the information they need.”
Via the website, produce farms and industry members also can join a mailing list to receive regular updates from the Produce Safety Program.
“The Produce Safety Program plans to spend the coming year doing everything possible to inform and educate California produce farmers about the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule,” Natalie Krout-Greenberg, CDFA’s director of inspection services, said in the press release. “CDFA’s vision is for 100-percent compliance with the Produce Safety Rule. Our hope is that required food-safety practices will become ingrained in the culture of California produce farming so that our state continues to grow the safest produce possible.”
Visit the website at www.cdfa.ca.gov/producesafety/about.html.