FDA and USDA Collaborate to Present Webinars on FSMA Produce Safety Rule to Produce Exporters in Latin America

Throughout July and August, the FDA will offer Webinars followed by live Q&A sessions on the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) and the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) for stakeholders in Latin America.

The U.S. imports 32% of its fresh vegetables and 57% of its fresh fruits to meet U.S. consumers’ expectations of produce availability year-round. About 46% of all fresh produce consumed in the U.S. is imported from Latin America, the majority of which comes from Mexico.

One of seven rules established under the landmark FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the PSR, establishes science-based minimum standards for safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. Farms that export certain fruits and vegetables to the U.S. may be subject to the PSR. Complying with the PSR is an important requirement for the import of certain fruits and vegetables to the U.S.

The presentation will be given by the FDA’s Produce Safety Expert Dr. Mauricio Castelo. In addition to the information on the PSR, Dr. Castelo also will present information on the FSVP to provide foreign suppliers information about using processes and procedures during their food production that provide the same level of public health protections as those required under the applicable sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), as mandated by FSMA.

Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions through registration, as well as to ask questions following Dr. Castelo’s presentation.

Outreach on the PSR to the produce industry and farms in the U.S. and abroad is a priority for the FDA’s food safety program and core to the FDA’s New Era for Smarter Food Safety Blueprint. Established in 2020, the Blueprint lays out a 10-year plan with goals to help enhance traceability, improve predictive analytics, respond more rapidly to outbreaks, reduce contamination of food, and foster the development of stronger food safety cultures.

In addition, a Produce Safety Working Group, established as the result of a USDA-FDA Formal Agreement signed in 2018, represents collaborative interests on the part of both agencies to help ensure the safety of imported produce.

Presentation Schedule:

In Spanish:

Mexico: Tuesday, July 13, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

Central America: Thursday, July 22, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

South America (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia): Friday, July 23, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

South America (Chile, Uruguay, Argentina): Thursday, July 29, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

In English:

Caribbean and other English-speaking countries: Thursday, August 5, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

In Portuguese:

Brazil: Monday, August 9, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

Register for the Webinar