The Food & Drug Administration released a proposed rule called the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (commonly referred to as the Produce Rule). The public comment period is scheduled to expire on May 16, 2013. The proposed rule, fact sheets, and two risk assessments that were developed as a basis of the proposed rule are included on the Food Safety page. Click on the files below for more details:
FDA Proposed Rule – Standards for the Growing Harvesting Packing and holding of Produce for Human Consumption
Fact Sheets on the Subparts of the FSMA Proposed Rule for Produce
Qualitative Assessment of Risk to Public Health From On farm Contamination of Produce
Quantitative Risk Assessment Proposed Produce Rule
The Food & Drug Administration also released a proposed rule called the Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (commonly referred to as the Preventive Controls Rule). The public comment period is scheduled to expire on May 16, 2013. The proposed rule and fact sheets are included on the Food Safety page. Click on the files below for more details:
FDA Proposed Rule – Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
Fact Sheet on the FSMA Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food
For a brief overview of both of the released proposed food safety rules, click on the FDA’s powerpoint presentation below called ‘FDA Presentation).
The National Watermelon Association has joined with numerous other produce groups and in conjunction with our partners at United Fresh Produce Association to request an extension of the public comment period to be 180 days following the anticipated release of three additional proposed rules (Imported Foods, Preventive Controls for Animals and Third Party Certifications). Stay tuned to email updates and the News Alert section of this website for more up to date information and guidance.
Food safety with any fresh or fresh-cut fruit or vegetable has been and will continue to be a high profile topic across our country, and our world, for many years. As a result, the NWA continues to work with the NWPB in support of the Crisis Management program that the NWPB is leading. If at any time there is an issue related or reported to be related to food safety with watermelon, the team will engage in the process. The NWA is part of that team, and will be diligent in our collective efforts if such an issue should arise.
“The 2nd edition of the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Fresh Watermelon Supply Chain is now available for your use. Please call the NWA, USDA, your State’s Department of Agriculture or any of the third party audit firms with your questions or needs.
It is up to each and everyone of us to make sure that our farms and sheds (including laborers) are following best practices to minimize the possibilities that could plague our crop industry. Please join us in this effort, and continue to help the Watermelon Industry to be safe, healthy and nutritious.
Watermelon is an important crop in North and Central America, and one of the healthiest and safest fruits available to consumers today. It is because of the multiple generations of Americans that have enjoyed watermelon, and the hard working people in the industry that produce and supply our crop, that we began an industry-wide initiative in the spring of 2010.
Labeled, “Watermelon is Not a Melon”, we began a process of submitting comments to help FDA obtain information about current practices and conditions for the production and packing of fresh watermelon. As an industry, we are concerned about food safety requirements and rules as they relate to our crop. While we agree with GAP and GHP standards of food safety, we believe that FDA needs to make significant changes to their previous direction as it relates to a commodity-specific and risk-based approach.
To review the public comments, click here
To the hundreds in our association that submitted comments or contacted your Washington legislators, we thank you for your support. We continue to have dialogue with FDA in the hopes to finally have watermelon removed from the High Risk category, Melons. Thank you, and keep up the great work.
A few of our Congressional friends sent a letter to the FDACommissioner asking for her involvement in our project. To view the letterand see who signed it, please click here
Finding consumer information about recalled food products grew a bit easier with the launch of a FDA website that compiles recall notices in a searchable table. Click here for more
- FDA 2009 Melon Guidance
- Guide to minimize Microbial Food Safety
Produce Traceability Initiative releases their final recommendations and action plan
- HarvestMark Leger Case Study
- Melon Food Safety Guidelines (Spanish)
- Melon Guidance Document
- Voluntary Food Safety Guidelines for Watermelon
- Food Safety Questionnaire
- Self Assessment Sheets
- USDA Grading & Certification
- Introduction to Voluntary Guidelines for Control of Microbial Hazards
- Traceability Committee Lays Groundwork for Industry-wide Standards
- UFPA Traceability