Is your farm covered by the Produce Safety Rule?
The flowchart above takes you through the steps to determine if your farm is covered by the Product Safety Rule. A printable version of this flowchart is also available in the Is my farm covered by the new federal produce safety rules? brochure (English | Hmong).
You can also use the self-guided Am I Covered? determination tool. This short survey takes less than five minutes and can help determine if your farm is covered and when compliance begins.
What category is your farm?
Under the Produce Safety Rule, a farm is categorized as
qualified exempt, or
covered. These categories are defined in the sections below.
Words in purple display definitions when you hover over them.
Exempt: Farms exempt from the rule
These farms include those that meet any of the following criteria:
- Have averaged less than $27,528 in gross annual produce sales over the past three years
- Only grow produce intended for
- Only grow produce that is considered to be
rarely consumed raw
- Only grow produce that will be consumed on the farm (for example, by family, livestock, etc.)
Qualified Exempt: Farms eligible for a qualified exemption
These farms are exempt from many of the Produce Safety Rule's requirements, but must still meet two important requirements:
- Farms must keep records (from the previous three years) to verify their eligibility for a qualified exemption.
- Beginning January 2020, qualified exempt farms must prominently display the name and address of the farm at the point of purchase (with a sign, invoice, etc.) or on a food packaging label.
In order to be eligible for a qualified exemption, farms must meet the following criteria:
- The farm's gross annual
food sales, on average over the past 3 years, are less than $550,551 annually.
- The majority (greater than 50% by dollar value) of the farm's food sales are to a
Note: A qualified exemption may be withdrawn if necessary in order to protect public health and prevent or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak.
Covered: Farms covered by the rule
If a farm does not qualify for any of the exemptions listed above, then it is considered a covered farm, and must meet the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.
The Produce Safety Rule was effective January 26, 2016, and compliance dates for some parts of the rule—such as those related to sprout production—have already taken effect. For all other covered farms, there is a staggered schedule of compliance dates. Generally speaking, the smaller your farm, the more time you will have to meet the requirements of the rule.
Specific compliance dates for covered activities, except those related to sprouts and agricultural water*, are outlined in the table below.
|Business Size |
(Gross Annual Food Sales)
for Covered Produce
|All other Businesses (Over $500,000)||January 26, 2018||2019 Growing Season|
|Small Businesses ($250,000-$500,000)||January 28, 2019||2020 Growing Season|
|Very Small Businesses ($25,000-$250,000)||January 27, 2020||2021 Growing Season|
*All farms will have at least two years beyond their respective compliance dates to meet the requirements for agricultural water.
If you are likely to be covered by the rule, we encourage you to begin preparing for compliance by reviewing this website to access available resources and browse upcoming training opportunities.