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.)

purple grapes on the vine

On-Farm Readiness Reviews

On-farm food safety consultations are happening again! Sign up for one here and contact us with any questions at iowafsma@iastate.edu 

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has been conducting 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).  Since 2019, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach On-Farm Produce Safety Team has offered reviews 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, 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?  These Iowa State University Extension and Outreach videos walk through the process for an OFRR for pre-harvest and an OFRR post-harvest.

Upcoming Food Safety Trainings

in-person course from 2018Remote and in-person courses are scheduled for this fall and winter.  Let us know you're interested and we'll send you more information.  Registration is now open.  Use the "events" tab on the left to register for a specific training.

All trainings cost $20 for Iowa growers.  Remote courses are held through the Zoom platform.
     Tuesday, December 14: REMOTE (all day)
     Thursday, January 27: Benton County, IN-PERSON  [snow day Feb. 3]
     Wednesdays, February 9 and 16: REMOTE (half days)
     Tuesday, March 8: Polk County, IN-PERSON [snow day March 10]

The PSA also offers online courses These are courses where you work at your own pace and submit assignments to an instructor during a three-week time.  Growers would need internet access, but it would work with less reliable connections.

Interested?  Contact us (515-294-6773) and we'll help you connect with a course.  

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

What is the training:computer screen of a virtual meeting
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.  $20 for Midwestern growers (from IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, and WI).  $120 for all other states. 
Fee includes PSA manual and certificate of completion.  Lunch is provided at in-person trainings.

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 Penn State series.  They are 5 and 10 minutes long.

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




Our trainings and technical assistance are making a difference for produce safety in Iowa.  Read our evaluation reports and find out more about our impacts.  Participants in our trainings take a pre-test and a post-test to assess their knowledge gain.  On average, Iowa growers score 4.5 (out of 25) points higher on their post-tests.  When we send out follow-up surveys one year after a course, 88% of growers who respond to the survey report making a change to practice, infrastructure, or equipment to improve produce safety.
2021 PSA GT Follow Up survey report IA FINAL.pdf
IA 2020 KA report FINAL.pdf

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

Teresa Wiemerslage

Teresa Wiemerslage
Extension Program Coordinator, Local Foods Team

Dan Fillius headshot
Dan Fillius
Commercial Vegetable and Specialty Crop Specialist

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

Dr. Smaranda Andrews

Smaranda Andrews, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor, 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