FDA Issues Final Rule for Compliance Dates for Agricultural Water Under FSMA

On March 15, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its final rule extending the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.  Under the final rule, larger farms are now required to comply with the agricultural water requirements by January 26, 2022, while small farms have until January 26, 2023, and very small farms have until January 26, 2024.  You can read the notice of the final rule in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/18/2019-04652/standards-for-the-growing-harvesting-packing-and-holding-of-produce-for-human-consumption-extension.

The final rule extends all provisions of Subpart E (Agricultural water) including the safe and sanitary quality requirement, the annual inspection requirement, and the postharvest water monitoring requirements.  The rule does not change the compliance dates for sprout operations.

While the rule extends the compliance dates for the agricultural water provisions, covered produce remains subject to the other provisions of the Produce Safety Rule and the adulteration provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

A list of the new water compliance dates by operation size follows.


Business Size Old Compliance Dates New Compliance Dates
Very small business
(>$25K – $250K)
Small business
(>250K – $500K)
All other businesses

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