Overview

In Minnesota, if your operation is growing and/or harvesting produce for any purposes other than for personal or on-farm consumption, then your operation is a produce farm. All produce farms should understand if and how the federal Produce Safety Rule (PSR) applies to them.

Produce farms can fall into one of three categories per the PSR. Farms can either be 1) Excluded, 2) Eligible for an Exemption, or 3) Covered by the rule. Your operation's status depends on the monetary value of your farm sales, who you sell to, and what products you sell, as shown in this video developed by the University of Minnesota Extension. Please note - farm status can change every year based on variations in customers, products, and inflation adjusted cutoffs* that are tied to sales.

To confirm your status for the current calendar year, we ask that you fill out our annual Grower Questionnaire. After completing the questionnaire, you will receive a letter from the MDA Produce Safety Program confirming requirements for your operation for the current year. Learn more about what the Produce Safety Program does with your personal information. More information about the different status categories is provided below.

Farm Statuses

  Excluded Eligible for an Exemption Covered
Other language sometimes used for this status Not Covered By the specific exemption: 1) Qualified Exempt or 2) Commercial Processing Exemption Fully Covered
What does this status mean for my farm? The rule does not apply to excluded farms. Produce sold commercially must still be safe for human consumption, however. 

Farms that are eligible for an exemption must follow modified requirements per the rule. These modified requirements involve keeping sales records and/or customer communications but are not related on-farm food safety practices.

Learn more about the modified requirements for Qualified Exempt farms.

Covered farms must follow the full standards of the rule. Examples of these standards include practices for worker training, water quality management, and cleaning & sanitizing.
Am I required to complete training?

No.

These farms are welcome to have individuals participate in the Produce Safety Rule or Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training, but it is not legally required.

No.

These farms are welcome to have individuals participate in the Produce Safety Rule or Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training, but it is not legally required.

Yes.

These farms are required to have at least one supervisor or responsible party from their farm complete training that uses FDA-recognized curriculum or equivalent. 

Is my farm subject to routine inspections? No No Yes. Learn more about inspections.
What does apply when it comes to food safety then, if my farm isn't subject to routine inspection and isn't subject to full standards of the rule? Farms that are excluded from the PSR, like all food businesses in Minnesota, are still obligated to produce food that is safe. Safe food that is not adulterated Farms that are eligible for an exemption from the PSR, like all food business in Minnesota, are still obligated to produce food that is safe. Safe food is food that is not adulterated.  

*Inflation Adjusted Sales Cut-offs

Cut-off sales values are indexed back to 2011 when Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law. The 2011 values are used as a baseline, but actual values are adjusted each year for inflation and calculated using a three-year rolling average. Cut-off values are one of several factors considered when determining a farm's Produce Safety Rule status. For 2021, in Minnesota, the cut-off values are based on a farm's 2018-2020 average annual produce sales.

Baseline Value for Cut-offs (2011) Inflation Adjusted Cut-off (2021)
$25,000 $28,075
$500,000 $561,494