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Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the federal food safety law that applies to farms growing fruits and vegetables that may be eaten raw. FSMA is intended to reduce the risk of microbial contamination of fresh produce by shifting focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. It will be administered by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

FSMA consists of seven sets of rules, two of which may be of particular interest to New England producers because of their potential impact on current farm operations.

  1. The Produce Safety Rule applies to "farms" or those who grow, harvest, pack or hold covered produce. The rules apply to produce generally eaten raw, i.e. greens, melons, tomatoes, apples, etc. (aka "covered produce" or raw agricultural commodities "RAC's"). They do not apply to produce not eaten raw, i.e. sweet corn, potatoes, pumpkins, etc. Also not covered is produce grown for personal consumption, on farm consumption, or on another farm under the same ownership.
  2. The Preventive Controls Rule applies to "facilities" that manufacture, process, pack or hold human food and to operations that buy and resell products grown on other farms. These facilities will need to register with the federal government and comply with regulations outlined in the preventive controls portion of the rule. Facilities are defined in the rules and cover operations that modify or process produce from its original state.

FDA Launches New FSMA Landing Page in Site to help stakeholders more easily access information and resources about the Food Safety Modernization Act and help them comply with the rules.

Qualifed Exemption: A farm is eligible for a qualified exemption from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (21 CFR ยง 112) if the farm’s annual food sales are less than $500,000, averaged over the previous 3 years and adjusted for inflation AND a majority of these sales are to qualified end-users.

This worksheet was created to facilitate the completion and maintenance of these annual sales records for NH producers.

To support this record, retain all records used to determine calculations for the annual review. This document may be copied. This record is now required to be maintained by all producers who qualify as “exempt” as defined by the Produce Safety Rule. NHDAMF will conduct farm visits to review such records throughout the year. Please contact the Produce Safety Program Planner, Vickie Smith at: with any questions.

Annual sales records required by NH Farmers to demonstrate their "qualified exempt" statuspdf file

Privacy Notice: Your information will assist DAMF in building a produce farm inventory database as part of a cooperative agreement between the DAMF and FDA for the implementation of the Produce Safety Rule under the FSMA. Your information will not be available to the public and will not be shared with the FDA. The exception would be an outbreak of a foodborne illness linked to your farming operation where DAMF and FDA are working together to address public health and safety.


New Hampshire FSMA Program Coordinator

Vickie Smith, Produce Safety Specialist
Tel. 603-848-4781


**This publication is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award [FAIN# U2FFD007437] totaling $758,921, with 100 percent funded by FDA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.


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NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food
Mailing: PO Box 2042, Concord NH 03302 -2042
Physical: 1 Granite Place South, Suite 211, Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3551 | fax: (603) 271-1109