As the intended enforcement discretion period for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Agricultural Water Proposed Rule will come to an end on January 26, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a fact sheet to help prepare growers.

The FSMA Agricultural Water Proposed Rule was issued by FDA in December 2021, and it would revise Subpart E of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule to change certain preharvest agricultural water requirements for covered produce other than sprouts. The compliance dates for the proposed rule are as follows:

  • January 26, 2025 for very small businesses
  • January 26, 2024 for small businesses
  • January 26, 2023 for all other businesses.

The fact sheet includes questions and answers, as well as links to various resources. FDA also states that, during the first year after the end of the intended enforcement discretion period, the agency will work closely with state and industry partners to provide training, technical assistance, educational visits, and on-farm readiness reviews to prepare both farmers and state regulators for implementing the provisions.

FDA encourages those who have questions about the requirements to contact their local Produce Safety Network representative or submit an inquiry to the FSMA Technical Assistance Network.