Wisconsin agriculture officials are getting ready for changes to
federal food safety laws that will affect vegetable and fruit
The new rules
will take effect later this month, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
They’re part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, which was
designed to prevent foodborne illnesses. The deadly 2006 E. coli
outbreak was linked to fresh spinach.
The changes will
give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration increased authority over
regulating how foods are grown, harvested and processed. The agency
will also be allowed to recall produce. The rules will also restrict
when and how raw manure can be used.
“It is a big
change. One of the big parts is that it puts foreign suppliers on
the same playing field as local growers,” said Shawn Bartholomew,
produce program and policy supervisor at the Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
is working to inform farmers about the changes, which department
officials said are the biggest in 70 years.
The rules will
also require water used to rinse fruits and vegetables to be tested
don’t take effect in 2020. So farmers have time to prepare,” said
won’t begin in earnest until next year, state officials said.
roll out in stages. Farms with annual produce sales of more than
$500,000 will have to comply the first year, followed by farms with
at least $250,000 in sales the following year. Small farms with
sales of more than $25,000 won’t have to comply until 2021.
Wisconsin had 68
food-borne outbreaks from 2015-16, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.