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In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act was passed by congress. The bill, designed to modernize and improve the nation’s food safety rules will not be fully implemented until 2020, but the phase in for food producers begins next year. The bill, which now has 500 pages of detailed regulations includes updated rules for everyone from restaurants to imports to farmers markets.
U of I extension is planning a rollout of meetings and seminars to explain the new rules to impacted producers. Leading the way for extension on the Food Safety Modernization Act is Extension Educator Laurie George from Mt Vernon. She is on track to be the first person in Illinois to be a certified trainer of other educators who will in turn lead seminars on the FSMA.
George discussed if the 500 pages of rules will be another regulatory burden on food producers, or a real improvement in food safety.
What are some examples of practices that specialty growers will have to evaluate?
The new rules will start kicking in next year for the largest commercial producers, most smaller specialty crop producers like those in Illinois will have to comply with new standards by 2020. For more information contact the U of I extension website or office.

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