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GEARING UP FOR FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT IS FOCUS OF MARCH 23 SESSION FOR NORTHEASTERN-STATE FARMERS
Contact: Jeff Beach
(TRENTON) – Farmers in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York who want to be better prepared for the coming implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) have an opportunity to learn more about what will be required of them under the new law during a session at the Rutgers EcoComplex on March 23, 2015, from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sponsored by the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA) and presented by the New Jersey and Delaware Departments of Agriculture, the session will feature food-safety experts, retailers and farmers who have been proactive about preparing for the new realm of food-safety regulations. Agriculture Secretaries Douglas Fisher of New Jersey and Ed Kee of Delaware also will be in attendance.
“The parts of FSMA that will most directly affect our farmers will be finalized by the end of this year, and then the clock will start ticking for farmers to have the necessary food-safety plans in place to be in compliance with this federal law,” said Secretary Fisher. “It’s not too early for each producer to decide how they will prepare their operations for this new era of food safety.”
“Growers in our region have done an outstanding job of producing safe, healthy food for generations,” said Secretary Kee. “FSMA sets a higher focus on food safety, but it is a focus that must be and will be met by the great vegetable and fruit producers in our states.”
FSMA was enacted by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by the President in 2011. It was a response to a series of foodborne illness outbreaks involving both raw products and processed foods that resulted in deaths and illnesses across the country. It gives sweeping new powers to the federal Food and Drug Administration to require farms, food processors and other food handlers to create and maintain plans and procedures designed to prevent foodborne illnesses rather than simply responding to them.
Those planning to attend should RSVP to Jeff Beach at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 609-439-2038.