Produce Safety


The FDA has finalized its revisions to Subpart E of the Produce Safety Rule, specifically for pre-harvest water. Pre-harvest water will no longer be tested to meet certain microbial standards, but instead assessed at least once annually to identify foreseeable risks and hazards. This can be done using FDA's Assessment Builder, though the tool is not required by law. Microbial requirements for harvest and post-harvest water have not changed. Read more about the FSMA Final Rule on Pre-Harvest Agricultural Water.

Welcome to The RI Produce Safety Portal

The Division of Agriculture aims to aid growers in navigating the Produce Safety Rule. All produce farms in Rhode Island are required to register annually with the RIDEM Division of Agriculture in order to determine farm coverage or exemption. Registration with our program will allow our Produce Team to determine how the PSR applies to your farm and gives you access to in-field or remote technical assistance, per request. This information will also allow us to provide regular policy and news updates, grant and workshop opportunities and access to our RI Agricultural Water Testing Program.

All Registrations and Exemption or Exclusion Applications can be submitted online through the Produce Safety Portal.

Produce Safety Portal is now LIVE.

Produce Safety Portal

The RI DEM Produce Safety Exemption/Exclusion Factsheet was created to help you determine your regulatory status under the Produce Safety Rule. This factsheet provides a visual guide to help growers understand if your produce is covered under the Rule and if your farm may be eligible for a Qualified, or Processing Exemption.

If you have questions, or need assistance, please contact

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Produce Safety Rule (FSMA) FAQs

According to the 2012 USDA census, RI has 1243 farms. However, only about 25% or approximately 300 grow produce for human consumption. According to the census 238 RI farms grow vegetables, melons, potatoes, sweet potatoes and 136 farms grow fruit, tree nuts and berries. While this number may not be exact, it is important to reference only those farms growing produce for human food when talking about the Produce Safety Rule.

A product like maple syrup would need a label indicating facility, ingredient(s) and net weight - requirements of NLEA and the state. Any food safety requirements for maple syrup fall under the Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food (CFR 117). If there are any questions regarding maple syrup, contact Diane Hirsh, University of Connecticut at

No. Farmers are not required to keep records regarding animals in field or even the assessments made by farmers concerning potential animal feces. The law requires that if a farmer sees animal intrusion in the fields of high risk produce (e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce) that the farmer assess the area to make sure that the animal(s) have not left contamination behind. If they have, the law does require that action be taken not to harvest that particular area.

There are no fines associated with deficiencies that an inspection may find on the farm as long as the problems are fixed. Issues associated with an imminent public health hazard must be dealt with quickly and all other violations of the rule must be corrected in a timely manner. The only time fines are implemented by FDA is if there is negligence.

The cost to Rhode Island farmers is only $45.00. This includes the cost of lunch for both days, the curriculum, and a certificate of completion.

Funding for this publication was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.