Food Safety Modernization Act Expected to Go to Vote 11/29

The food universe has been all atwitter (as well as blogging and Facebooking) about the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) that is expected to go to a Senate vote on 11/29. Just months after the largest recall of shell eggs in history (more than 500 million) and regular recalls of other food products – 13 recalls in November alone for “possible health risk” – food safety has become a front page issue. There is a definite possibility S.510 will pass.

In an effort to deflect the anticipated added costs (administrative and equipment) that small producers would likely have to shoulder, an amendment was put forward to remedy the effect.

The “Tester” amendment, co-authored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-MT, would exempt small farms and processors from federal oversight, leaving them under state and local food safety regulation. Farmers and producers generating revenues of less than $500,000 a year and selling directly to consumers or restaurants and retailers within 275 miles would be exempt.

Should a small producer have a food safety issue, he or she will lose the exemption and face the FDAs enforcement of federal regulations.

Assuming the bill does pass; who will be training all those small producers so they will be well prepared to meet all federal, state and local requirements? Coming up this week on GoodFood World: The University Extension – the Last Resource for Food Safety Training for Small Farmers.