FSMA - On-Farm Readiness Review The On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a program developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in cooperation with State Departments of Agriculture, State Extensions and State Health Departments. The goal of OFRR is to provide on farm reviews for produce growers to allow for a better understanding of what will be required to be in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. OFRR Facts OFRR includes an on farm visit during production season where produce growers, DEM Division of Agriculture Employees and URI staff can learn what needs to be done on a farm to comply with the Produce Safety Rule. OFRR is a voluntary program, unless a condition is found on the farm that is an immediate threat to the public’s health (Egregious Condition) and the produce grower does not agree to fix this condition. OFRR is a free service available to any produce farm in Rhode Island regardless of farm size. Request an On-Farm Readiness Review OFRR FAQs What is an On-Farm Readiness Review? An On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a non-regulatory, free assessment of a farm’s readiness for inspection under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This is a chance for you to have a one-on-one conversation and farm walk-around with Produce Safety Rule experts to evaluate pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest conditions and practices, assess what you are doing well, and identify areas for improvement in food safety practices on your farm. It is very important that routine farm processes and operations (such as washing, packing, and harvesting activities) are happening during the OFRR so reviewers can make accurate recommendations for produce safety improvements specific to your farm. Who conducts On-Farm Readiness Reviews? On-Farm Readiness Reviews will be conducted jointly by the Produce Program Team at the RIDEM Division of Agriculture and Produce Safety Specialists from University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Cooperative Extension. How is an On-Farm Readiness Review different from an audit or inspection? An On-Farm Readiness Review is not a regulatory visit. The OFRR is for your benefit and will consist of on-farm observation to identify areas for produce safety improvements, to help you prepare for a FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection (if applicable), and to help you grow produce safety practices on your farm. Reviewers are not there to conduct an audit, inspection, or any type of regulatory assessment. All notes taken by the reviewers will be left with the farm at the end of the visit. What should I do to prepare for an On-Farm Readiness Review? We strongly recommend that at least one person from your farm complete the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course before scheduling an OFRR. The PSA Grower Training will provide you with essential background knowledge about the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and recommended produce safety practices that will help you to get the most out of the OFRR. In addition, this training satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement for covered farms that "at least one supervisor or responsible party" completes "food safety training … recognized as adequate” by FDA (21 C.F.R. §112.22(c)). If my farm is not covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, can I still request an On-Farm Readiness Review? Yes. Any farm that grows and/or sells produce is eligible to request an On-Farm Readiness Review. Remember, an On-Farm Readiness Review is for your benefit. Reviewers will suggest produce safety improvements so you can make informed decisions about your farm. What happens during an On-Farm Readiness Review? Reviewers will begin by asking a series of questions to better understand your farm’s produce safety practices and farm procedures. They will ask to view different areas of the farm to view harvesting, washing, and packing processes as well as storage or holding areas. At the end of the visit, reviewers will provide feedback on observations and identify priority areas for improvement in produce safety practices on your farm. URI Cooperative Extension staff can provide additional technical assistance based on the feedback from your On-Farm Readiness Review, which may involve follow-up information sharing or additional farm visits. What if a public health hazard is found during my On-Farm Readiness Review? In the rare instance that we observe a serious condition that could be considered "egregious" (an imminent public health hazard is posed if a corrective action is not taken immediately), if the product has not entered commerce and the issue can be immediately addressed, reviewers will not notify FDA or any other state/federal agency, nor will a written record will be made. It is our intention to immediately address any serious concerns on-site.