Food Safety

Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first major overhaul of our nation’s food safety practices since 1938, and it includes new regulations for produce farms and for facilities that process food for people to eat. It represents some big changes to our food system – and it is extremely important for the Food and Drug Administration to get these regulations right.

Food Safety Resources:

FSMA and GAP Differences
FSMA is a minimum requirement; it will not eliminate buyer imposed programs for food safety, such as Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) that are already in place.

On-Farm Food Safety Project
This resource helps fruit and vegetable farmers learn about food safety, create a personalized on-farm food safety plan, and become food safety certified.

Food Safety Begins on the Farm: A Grower’s Guide
This document outlines the Good Agricultural Practices for fresh fruits and vegetables; it introduces market scale, production concerns and suggests ways to minimize risk on the farm.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
This alliance of grassroots organizations advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. In so doing, NSAC promotes safe, nutritious and affordable food systems produced by sustainable family farms.

Buying Local: Approved Food Sources for Food Establishments
This guide provides information on providing safe locally produced products such as produce, meat and eggs to food establishments. Food establishments include restaurants, schools, grocery and convenience stores, and other institutions.

Perceived Risks of Conventional and Organic Produce
This research surveys 700 conventional and organic fresh produce buyers to compare and contrast public perceptions of risk related to food safety.

Good Handling Practices Audit Verification
This User’s Guide was developed to provide information about the USDA Good Agricultural Practices & Good Handling Practices (GAP&GHP) Audit Verification Program. If you are a farmer looking to get USDA GAP Certified, use the provided checklist version and be able to pass all tests with an 80 percent.

Michigan’s Safe Food Risk Assessment
If you are a farmer looking to assure safe food to your customers without a USDA GAP Certification, use the Safe Food Risk Assessment. It’s a small farm, scale-appropriate voluntary program designed to educate fresh fruit and vegetable producers about food safety and to recognize those who implement safe food management practices.

Writing GAP Manuals
This manual provides detailed accounts of GAP procedures that maintain food safety until the produce can be shipped from field to farm.

Best Management Practices: GAP Checklist and Food Safety Manual

  • Best Management Practices for Vegetable Production – GAP Checklist
  • Good Agricultural Practices: Food Safety Manual
  • Water Quality Standards and Microbial Testing: Frequently Asked Questions
  • GAP Audit Verification Checklist

Group GAP Certification for Small Farms
For small farmers, getting GAP certified can be difficult and expensive. To help offset some of these costs, AMS partnered with the Wallace Center at Winrock International to implement the Group GAP Pilot Project. The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is writing a case study about the Group GAP project that will be available in 2015.

Michigan Food Hub Network

Michigan State’s Center for Regional Food Systems created a webinar series concerning food hubs and food safety including the food safety assessment tool, the FDA proposed rules and the potential for group GAP in Michigan.

MSU Extension

Michigan State University Extension Food Safety Educator Philip Tocco can talk with farmers about FSMA, GAP and more.

All Michigan State University Extension food safety articles are selected from MSU Extension: Agriculture. To stay current, subscribe to MSUE news digests.

Best features for a food safety digital recordkeeping
This MSUE article outlines the components of an ideal digital, food safety record keeping system.

How long do I keep all this food safety paperwork?
This MSUE article provides guidelines for recordkeeping and explains the standard minimum length to keep food safety records based on the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Evaluating water sources to ensure safe fresh produce
This MUSE article explains how to perform a water system risk assessment and recommends potential criteria for assessing your water system.

Best practices for food safety when handling greens
This MSUE article outlines the steps growers and farm marketers can do to reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses in leafy greens.

The down and dirty on manure and food safety
Manure can be a valuable plant nutrient source and a potential food safety hazard.

Going with the “process” flow of fresh produce
This MSUE article details how to write a “process flow” to start creating a food safety plan for a fresh produce farm.

Dealing with irrigated crops and food safety
This MSUE article advises a number of considerations that must be planned for when irrigating crops in order to reduce the chances of produce contamination.


SaniStand: Commercial Sanitizing Station for Agriculture and Work Sites