UPDATE: Grapegrowing and FSMA Compliance

The FDA has issued guidance for its enforcement policy on the Produce Safety Rule, part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The Produce Safety Rule identifies certain produce as “not covered” or eligible for an exemption to Product Safety Rule compliance.  The primary exemption is with respect to “rarely consumed raw” produce.  As noted in our April 2018 post, neither winegrapes nor hops were identified on the “rarely consumed raw” list and, as a result, growers were required to utilize the commercial processing exemption to ensure FSMA compliance.

Pursuant to the enforcement guidance published this March 2019, the FDA states now that it does not expect winegrape and hops growers “to meet any of the Produce Safety Regulation requirements with respect to these commodities.”  The FDA reserves the right to change the enforcement policy, but it is also considering further rulemaking to actually exempt these products from the compliance requirements.