The Produce Rule regulates farms and farmer-owned packing houses that only grow or pack produce that is often eaten raw. Compliance will take effort, but won’t be as expensive as complying with the Preventive Control Rules that regulate food manufacturers.



“But I wash, label, pack, hold, package, mix, or dehydrate raw produce.”

Even though you do those things to produce that people usually eat raw, you’re still considered a farm and may need to comply with the Produce Rule, but not the more expensive food manufacturing rules.


farmer-icon“But what about the farmer-owned packing house where I bring my produce?”

If the packing house limits its business to harvesting, shelling, hulling, washing, packing, holding, packaging, labeling, or dehydrating produce that people usually eat raw AND the packing house is owned by the farmer(s) who provide over 50% of the produce handled, you may need to comply with the Produce Rule, not the more expensive Preventive Control rules.




Hang on. My business includes chopping greens.

Sad to say, chopped greens present a higher food safety risk. Chopping triggers the Preventive Control Rule.




“But, everything I grow is commercially processed!”

The Rules say you need to:

1. Get a document from your customers about their processing practices.

2. Give a disclosure to customers saying you’re not processing in a way that kills pathogens.

And then you should be in compliance.



“But, I’m SO small…I sell less than $25K/yr!”

The Rules say you need to keep business records to prove your annual produce sales. The rest of the Rules should not apply to you.


FDA Considers Local:
In-state or within 275 miles from the farm. Sales must be to an end-user (consumer or restaurant), NOT a wholesaler.


field-and-sun“I sold more than $25K, but I sell locally!”

If your sales total less than $500K/yr, you are only going to have to meet a few requirements. You may be QUALIFIED EXEMPT.




Everyone else has to meet the Produce Rule.

When? If your food sales are less than $250,000, you must comply with most of the Produce Rule by Jan. 26, 2020. Farms with total food sales between $250,000 and $500,000 have to comply by Jan. 26, 2019; and those with total food sales of $500,000 or more have until Jan. 26, 2018. Note that all businesses required to comply will have additional time to meet some of the water quality standards.


Learn more:


DISCLAIMER: This graphic is intended for informational purposes. It is not legal advice.