As part of NASDA’s guiding principle towards farm’s FSMA compliance, “educate before you regulate,” a team comprised of NASDA, State, FDA, and Cooperative Extension food safety leaders developed the On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR). Designed to move farmers away from the audit checklist scheme, the OFRR is meant to foster a dialogue between the farmer and the regulator and/or educator about the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.
Benefits of OFRR:
1. Voluntary: Farmers request on OFRR from their state department of agriculture and/or extension agent.
2. Conversation: Over the course of a couple hours, scheduled at the convenience of the farmer, the reviewer observes growing conditions, harvesting practices, packinghouse operations, water sources, and discusses common food safety touch-points.
3. Useful Assessment: At the end of the review, the assessor provides their top three suggestions for the farm to improve its food safety practices. Afterwards, the farmer is connected with educational materials and resources to assist with solutions to achieve compliance with FSMA.
4. Peace of Mind for the Grower: This program has been designed to also educate the farmer on the inspection process and provide a level of comfort with the new requirements imposed by FSMA.
5. Public Health Assurance: Beginning in the Spring of 2018, regulators and educators will be on farms advancing food safety within our food system using the On Farm Readiness Review model.
6. Confidential: Careful consideration has been given to protecting farm information from prying eyes unless an immediate threat to public health is detected.