FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2017
Contact: Pamm Juker (ISDA)
Sue Davis (ODA) 503-807-5864
IDAHO AND OREGON CONCLUDE FOOD SAFETY TOUR
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) jointly concluded a regional tour organized for agricultural producers and representatives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).
ISDA and ODA organized the tour to give federal officials opportunities to learn about farming and irrigation practices in Idaho and Oregon and understand potential on-farm impacts of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The tour also provided opportunities for potentially impacted growers to meet FDA technical and policy experts.
The tour included examination of irrigation practices and water delivery systems; observations of onion harvest, storage and packing practices; and roundtable discussions including industry stakeholders and regulators.
“Idaho and Oregon have been working for years to better understand potential FSMA compliance challenges for operations which may be covered under the Produce Safety Rule. Now we are working hard to provide outreach, education and training opportunities for the produce industry as well as give them opportunities to have their voice heard directly by FDA. That’s the importance of inviting federal officials here; they don’t know our region firsthand or the challenges our producers face,” ISDA Director Celia Gould said.
FSMA became law in 2011. The FDA promulgated seven rules under the act, including the Produce Safety Rule, which outlines requirements for on-farm standards and measures to reduce food safety risks from agriculture products generally consumed raw. Onions and tree fruit farms are examples of important Idaho and Oregon operations which may be subject to the rule, depending on the size of the operation. FSMA has been called the biggest change to U.S. food regulation since the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in the 1930s.