Statement of Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association on FDA’s Deadline Extension for Packinghouses, and Draft Guidance on Industry Classification for Farms and Facilities
“The extension and clarification of compliance dates released yesterday by FDA, combined with the draft guidance documents released yesterday and today, enable the fresh produce industry to better understand how to comply with the applicable rules. We appreciate that FDA heard and responded to our concerns and requests.
FDA recognizes that packinghouses should have the same amount of time to prepare for regulatory compliance regardless of whether they are located on or off a farm. The extended compliance dates for packinghouses subject to the Preventive Controls Rule, beginning January 26, 2018, allows us time to continue to work with FDA and the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance to develop a modified curriculum for these unique types of operations that are critical parts of the fresh produce supply chain.
With the first compliance deadline for the Preventive Controls Rule less than a month away, our members continue to ask questions about which rule(s) they are subject to. We are hopeful that the draft guidance pertaining to industry classification for farms and facilities released today will provide examples that help the fresh produce industry understand which rules apply to them.
United Fresh looks forward to reviewing the draft guidance on classifying farms and facilities, as well as draft guidance supporting implementation of the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule. We will continue to work with FDA to ensure that the rules are practical and in the best interest of public health.”