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UF/IFAS hosting March 30 FDA seminar on Food Safety Modernization Act rules

Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and onions in a fresh salad. Food, vegetables, healthy eating. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is holding one of only five national educational seminars on the Food and Drug Administration’s new final food safety rules. The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act covers produce safety, preventive controls for human and animal food and foreign supplier verification.

The seminar, which provides an opportunity for the industry and public to give input before the guidance documents are issued, is free and open to the public.

The seminar is scheduled for March 30, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Everglades Research and Education Center, 3200 E. Palm Beach Road, Belle Glade, Florida. Lunch will be served to those who have pre-registered for the event.

“UF/IFAS appreciates the willingness of the FDA to come to the agriculture growing area of Florida for this public meeting to hear comments and concerns on the new rules from both food producers and the general public alike,” said Martha Rhodes Roberts, special assistant to the director of UF/IFAS’ Office of Government Affairs. “Everyone desires the same goal of a preventive food safety system.  The new rules are quite extensive and everyone needs to understand not only what is expected but also how to achieve the goals.”

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed by Congress on December 21, 2010, and signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011.  Under FSMA, FDA is required to publish 150 reports, rules and guidance documents.  To date, FDA has published five final rules on which the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, along with Florida industries, actively commented to FDA.  Final rules for sanitary transportation and intentional adulteration of foods will be issued in the spring.

Experts from Washington, D.C. will be on hand in Belle Glade to answer questions and take into consideration any concerns farmers, ranchers and the general public have before guidance on the final rules are finalized.

To view the final rules and fact sheets, go to www.FDA.gov/FSMA

To register for this meeting, go to http://fsmarules.eventbrite.com

By Beverly James, 352-273-3566, beverlymjames@ufl.edu

Sources: Martha Roberts, 850-509-7282, robertm@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

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