Food Safety Begins on the Farm: A Grower's Guide
This document addresses microbial food safety hazards and good agricultural and management practices common to the growing, harvesting, washing, sorting, packing, and transporting of most fruits and vegetables sold to consumers in an unprocessed or minimally processed (raw) form. This voluntary, science-based guidance can be used by both domestic and foreign fresh fruit and vegetable producers to help ensure the safety of their produce. The voluntary guidance is consistent with U.S. trade rights and obligations and will not impose unnecessary or unequal restrictions or barriers on either domestic or foreign producers.
The produce guide is guidance and it is not a regulation. As guidance and if applied as appropriate and feasible to individual fruit and vegetable production operations, the guide will help to minimize microbial food safety hazards for fresh produce. Because it is guidance, and not a regulation, the guide does not have the force and effect of law and thus is not subject to enforcement. Operators should use the general recommendations in this guide to tailor food safety practices appropriate to their particular operations. In no case do the recommendations in this guide supercede applicable Federal, state, or local laws or regulations for U.S. operators. Operators outside of the U.S. should follow corresponding or similar standards, laws or regulations.