For farms that are determined to be covered by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR), on farm inspections are required to encourage compliance with the rule. The goal of inspections is to help farms improve their food safety program and maintain a safe and healthy food supply. Inspections for covered farms will be implemented under the following schedule:
2019: Large Covered Farms (over $500,000 in average produce sales)
2020: Small Covered Farms ($250,000 - $500,000 in average produce sales)
2021: Very Small Covered Farms ($25,000 - $250,000 in average produce sales)
A farm's initial inspection will be education-focused. However, a practice, condition, or situation that poses an imminent public health hazard may require immediate corrective action. After a farm's initial inspection, future inspections will enforce all levels of violations. There is no cost to the farmer for routine inspections.
The Produce Safety Program has developed two important resources to help farms prepare for inspections:
- Our What to Expect document lays out the entire inspection process from initial scheduling all the way through the inspection's conclusion.
- Farms are also encouraged to use our Pre-Inspection Checklist to do a walk through of their operation and self-evaluate their readiness for inspection.
- Inspection questions? Contact one of our inspectors: Heidi Hagman or Lisa Baker.
In Minnesota, most inspections will be announced, but there may be circumstances in which unannounced inspections happen such as:
- In response to a complaint, recall, or foodborne illness outbreak investigation.
- If your farm has had produce safety issues in the past and the issue has not been corrected.
- If a follow-up inspection is needed and an unannounced inspection may work best to observe the necessary changes being made.
- If your farm does not respond to multiple contact attempts.
Not sure if your farm requires an inspection?
There are several exclusions and exemptions built into the PSR, many of which remove the requirement for a farm to be inspected. Minnesota produce growers are encouraged to fill out a questionnaire that will aid the MDA in determining how the rule applies to their farm. The grower questionnaire is available online. This questionnaire is optional, but farms that opt out will be contacted by the MDA via email, phone, or in person to identify their farm's status and inspection requirements under the rule.