Produce Safety Rule

Produce Safety officially titled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption”

If you grow covered produce, the first thing you need to do is look at your sales records to determine where your operation falls under FSMA.  Keep in mind that for the purposes of the exemptions, “food” means anything edible by a human or an animal, ie hay, milk, bacon, eggs, pickles, fruits, vegetables, etc.  "Produce" means fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts and nuts.

Below are the exemptions for the Produce Safety Rules: 

  • If you sell less than $25,000 of produce per year averaged over three years, you are not covered, click here.
  • If you sell more than $25,000 of produce but less than $500,000 of food averaged over three years, AND more than half of your sales are to qualified end users, you will receive a qualified exemption, please click here.
  • If you sell more than $500,000 of food per year OR less than half of your sales are to qualified end users, you are covered by this rule. 


Need more detail to determine if you are "not covered", "qualified exempt" or "covered"?  Here are some resources to help you.

Step 1:  Watch the following YouTube videoand try to determine which category applies to you.


Step 2:  Follow this flowchart from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, does it confirm what you thought after watching the video?


Step 3:  Answer the questions in this online tool, does it confirm what you thought?


If you don't get the same answer from all three tools, contact a member of our FSMA team.


Heather Bryant, Field Specialist, Fruits and Vegetables,, 603-787-6944
Catherine Violette, Food Safety Specialist,,  603-862-2496
Seth Wilner, Field Specialist, Agricultural Business Management,, 603-863-9200


Be aware that those you sell to may require more of you than is required by law, and that if you are implicated in an outbreak of foodborne illness your exemption can be taken away.

Note:  Total Food Sales figures will be adjusted for inflation using 2011 as the starting point.