Outreach and Education for Hawai‘i Fruit and Vegetable Growers
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to provide outreach and education to Hawaii produce growers who will be impacted by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – Produce Safety Rule and has been awarded a cooperative agreement with the FDA to build the program to promote understanding of the Produce Safety Rule.
The program is currently reaching out to farmers and would like your help! Please fill out the Hawaii Farm Survey located below via the green button that will take you to an new webpage. Another option is to print out the “Hawaii Farm Survey” fillable PDF located below and mail your responses to :
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Quality Assurance Division
Hawaii Produce Safety Program
1851 Auiki Street
Honolulu, Hi 96819-3100
Or scan and email your completed survey to one of our contacts on the right!
Administrative and Fiscal Assistant
Phone: (808) 832-0720
Joey Ooka, PhD
Phone: (808) 832-0685
Leo Obaldo, PhD
Phone: (808) 832-0705
Hawaii Farm Survey –
Please Fill Out For Educational Outreach
FSMA – Produce Safety Rule Updates:
- End of Intended Enforcement Discretion for Subpart E Requirements for Harvest and Post-Harvest Agricultural Water for Covered Produce Other than Sprouts – Beginning January 26, 2023
- University of Hawaii – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Extension Publication: Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA): Frequently Asked Questions for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Producers
FSMA – Produce Safety Rule: How This Affects You
The Rule establishes, for the first time, mandatory science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. Some key requirements of the Rule are in: agricultural water; biological soil amendments; domesticated and wild animals; worker training and health & hygiene; equipment, tools and buildings; and record keeping. For a quick reference to the Federal Produce Safety Rule, see FSMA PSR Key Requirements.
Just beginning to learn about the Produce Safety Rule? Here are some good starting points:
- Learn where your farm falls under the Rule – check out the Coverage and Exemptions/Exclusions flowchart from the FDA. Farms may fall under one of three categories (covered, qualified exempt, or excluded), with different requirements for each category. Where your farm falls depends on what you sell, who you sell to, and how much you sell.
- Take a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training class.
- Receive an On Farm Readiness Review walk-through service after completing a PSA Grower Training Course.
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings
Under the Produce Safety Rule, every covered produce farm is REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW to have an individual employed who has completed an FDA-approved Produce Safety Rule Grower Training course. This course provides training to ensure a responsible party employed by the farm understands the required food safety practices. It need only be taken once; however, the certificate of completion belongs to the individual and not the farm.
HDOA’s Produce Safety Program has partnered with the University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Extension Farm Food Safety Outreach program to deliver the training. To be notified when new training become available, or if you would like to receive an On Farm Readiness Review walk-through service, please contact Hawaii Produce Safety Program Principal Investigator, Dr. Leo Obaldo at Leonard.G.Obaldo@hawaii.gov or at (808) 832-0705.
Additional dates will be posted here when they are set.
Next PSA Grower Training Course
February 20-22th: Tuesday- Thursday
The Next Step: On-Farm Readiness Reviews
Your farm safety manager has taken a Growers Training Class and has implemented changes to operations, infrastructure, record keeping and worker training. What’s next? On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR) are a great way to help prepare your farm for an FDA inspection. These OFRR provide insight on how well your farm has enacted the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. This service is free (no cost to you but your time!) and confidential (all observations are reviewed with you, the farmer, at the end of the review. No observation information is conveyed to the FDA.) The State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture currently does not have the jurisdiction to conduct Produce Safety Rule inspections and thus FDA inspectors from the mainland will be scheduling and conducting routine inspections on all covered non-exempt farms.
If you are interested in conducting a voluntary OFRR on your farm, please contact Hawaii Produce Safety Program Program Manager, Dr. Joey Ooka at Joey.K.Ooka@hawaii.gov or at (808) 832-0705.
Covered or Exempt from the Law?
Below is a decision tree to help you determine if you are covered or exempt. Please contact us if you have any questions or need any clarification.
Below is a timeline of when farms will begin their inspection, based on size of the farm determined by the average amount of produce sales.
As of 2022, all provisions of the FSMA – Produce Safety Rule are in full effect except for Subpart E (Agricultural Water). Production (Growing) Water Rules are currently under review by the FDA and are not being enforced at this time. However, Harvesting, Packing and Holding Water Rules are in effect and will be enforced upon FDA inspection.
If you are a producer or operator with questions or concerns about FSMA or produce safety, we want to hear from you! Contact Hawaii Department of Agriculture at (808) 832-0705.