FDA Produce Safety Rule

farm field growing leafy greens


We help growers and industry professionals prepare for and comply with FDA’s FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Produce Safety Rule. We offer the following services:

  • Produce Safety Alliance trainings
  • On-Farm Readiness Reviews
  • Assistance in crafting Farm Food Safety Plans
  • Education, Outreach and Technical Assistance
  • Legislative and Policy Research

We are a team of produce and food safety experts, from within Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa State University (see members below).  Our goal is to conduct needs assessments and develop trainings, extension programs, and a farm inventory that align with state programs and activities for FDA’s Produce Safety Rule. 

This project is funded by the State and Territory Cooperative Agreement to Enhance Produce Safety in Preparation of Implementation of FDA’s Rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, through FDA grant 1U18FD005810-01 (CFDA #93.102- Food and Drug Administration Research.)

Free Water Testing Around the State

person collecting water from a stream into a sterile cupThe Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires some produce growers to test their water regularly.  Since few labs are located in rural areas, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offered free water testing around the state this past summer.


1. Extension and Outreach staff will mail sterile sample cups and directions to farmers’ market coordinators and county extension offices. 
2. Growers pick up 1 cup per source.  Growers can submit multiple samples if they have multiple water sources (wells, streams, etc.)
3. The day of the collection event, growers must follow directions to collect their sample.  Mark the time on the sterile cup(s).  It must be no more than 3 hours before the drop off time begins.
4. Growers bring their sample to the farmers’ market that day and drop it off with members of the On-Farm Produce Safety Team.
5. The team will bring the cups back to the lab located on the Ames campus and run the test.
6. Growers will be contacted with their results.

There is no need to test public, municipal water. 
Growers who aren’t part of the farmers’ market are welcome to drop off samples as well. 
Growers from any county are welcome to use the service.
Samples must be delivered to the collection site within 3 hours of being collected.

You can drop off water samples at the Ames campus for testing.  You must make an appointment.

Would you be willing to host a collection site next summer?  Contact us to get something scheduled.

Questions about water testing?  Contact the On-Farm Produce Safety Team.


On-Farm Readiness Reviews

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will conduct voluntary on farm assessments to help Iowa growers prepare for FDA farm inspections conducted under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR).  The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach On Farm Produce Safety Team will offer in the 2018-2019 growing season to Iowa farms that grow, harvest, pack and hold vegetable and fruit for human consumption and use diverse production practices.
The purpose of the OFRR process is to:
 Prepare Iowa farmers for implementation of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule (PSR)
 Help growers better understand how to translate the PSR on their farm
 Help growers assess their readiness for implementation of the FSMA PSR
 Provide guidance on how to get individual farms into compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The On-Farm Readiness reviews are free of charge and are done on a voluntary basis and take less than 2 hours to complete. There are two pre-requisite requirements for interested growers:
1) At least one person on the farm must have been trained and received the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training certificate; and
2) On-Farm Readiness Reviews are done when produce is being grown, harvested, and/or post-harvest handled.

Sign up for your review.

Wondering about what an OFRR might look like?  This video from Michigan State walks through the process.

Upcoming Food Safety Trainings

* Request can be made for a special course for more than ten farm participants.

What is the training:
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’  Get more information about the PSA course here.

Participants must be present for the entire eight-hour course to get credit for attending.

The Training is Designed For:
The PSA Grower Training courses are designed for growers of fruits and vegetables.  If you are a fruit or vegetable processor, please click here for more information about the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance trainings. 

How Much:
$20 for Iowa growers.  $120 for out of state growers.
Fee includes PSA manual, certificate of completion, and lunch.
If you have more than one person attending from the same farm/company AND you want to share one PSA manual, you can register two people for the price of one.  Contact us for details. (IowaFSMA@iastate.edu or 515-294-6773)

Registration is now open.  To register with a credit card, go to the Events page (use the menu on the left) and click on the preferred training.  To register by check, download the registration form (click on "PSA Registration form 2019") and mail it in.  
PSA registration form 2019.pdf

If you are unable to download the form, please contact your local extension office, email us at Iowafsma@iastate.edu, or call 515-294-6773, and we will send you a paper registration form.  

Find these trainings on a map of Iowa.  If you live on the border of Iowa, check out the trainings in Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

Find the times and locations by clicking on the Events tab on the lefthand menu.

Emmetsburg (Palo Alto County) Tues, Jan. 14 (Snow Day- Jan. 21)
Iowa City (Johnson County) Tuesday, Feb. 4    (Snow Day- Feb. 6) 
Knoxville (Marion County) Tues., Feb. 11          (Snow Day- Feb. 18)
Bedford (Taylor County) Mon, Feb. 17               (Snow Day- Feb. 19)
Ottumwa (Wapello County) Tuesday, Feb. 25    (Snow Day- Feb. 27)
Rockwell City (Calhoun County) Tues., Mar. 3

It is strongly recommended individuals with little to no previous Good Agricultural Practices experience or education view the Iowa GAP 1 videos prior to attendance.  The videos can be accessed free of charge. 

It would also be helpful to be familiar with the content of #1 and #3 in this series.  They are 5 and 10 minutes long.

Read about how we've been reaching out to Plain growers here in Iowa.

Team members

Dr. Angela Shaw
Angela Shaw, PhD
Associate professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition  

Paul Ovrom  

Paul Ovrom
State Horticulturist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Dr. Lakshman Rajagopal
Anirudh Rajagopal Naig, PhD
Associate professor of Apparel, Events & Hospitality Management

Dr. Shannon Coleman
Shannon Coleman, PhD
Assistant professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Dan Fillius
Dan Fillius
Extension Program Specialist, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Joe Hannan
Joe Hannan
Extension Field Specialist, Agriculture

Teresa Wiemerslage
Teresa Wiemerslage
Extension Program Coordinator, Local Foods Team

Moran Hoenig
Morgan Hoenig
Iowa State University Extension, Local Foods Coordinator

John Krzton-Presson
John Krzton-Presson
Program Planner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Manreet Bhullar
Manreet Bhullar
Graduate Research Assistant, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Bridget Perry
Bridget Perry
Graduate Research Assistant, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Dr. Smaranda Andrews

Smaranda Andrews, PhD
Extension Program Specialist, Food Science and Human Nutrition
(Certified Organic Inspector)


FDA, US Food and Drug Administration   Iowa State University Extension and Outreach   Produce Safety Alliance   Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship