Meeting Purpose & Summary
Water used during the production of fruits and vegetables represents a potential pathway for contamination with human pathogens. In the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR), microbial quality standards were established for agricultural water that comes in contact with produce to reduce risks associated with agricultural water use. However, FDA received feedback from numerous stakeholders raising concerns that some of these standards may be too complex to understand and too difficult to implement. In response to these concerns, FDA is considering how to address these issues by exploring ways to simplify the PSR standards related to agricultural water.
The two-day Water Summit was an engagement opportunity for growers, regulatory personal, industry representatives, educators, and researchers to increase understanding and work collaboratively to develop ideas that support risk reduction related to water. This Water Summit included informational presentations and breakout discussions. Participants explored challenges related to the requirements of Subpart E – Agricultural Water and discussed potential solutions that are workable while still protecting public health.
The PSA is currently reviewing, organizing, and drafting a summary paper based on the outcomes of the breakouts and group discussions that occurred during the meeting. Updates on the availability of the summary paper and additional action items related to the Water Summit outcomes will be sent out through our general listserve and posted on our website.