Regulate

California produce farms must document that they are following all required food safety practices under the Produce Safety Rule.

The California Produce Safety Program’s role is to educate California produce farmers on how to comply with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule and then regulate farms to ensure they are in compliance with this new law.

Farms with more than $25,000 in average annual sales of produce (averaged over the previous three years) are now subject to Produce Safety Program inspections to verify compliance with the Produce Safety Rule.

How to Comply with the Produce Safety Rule

Toggle section "How to Comply with the Produce Safety Rule"

California produce farms must be able to prove they are following and documenting all required food safety practices and procedures.

The best way to understand what practices are required of produce farms is to go through the mandatory Produce Safety Rule Grower Training course. During a Produce Safety Program inspection, farms will be asked to verify an employee of their farm has completed this grower training.

In general, farmers should expect that Produce Safety Program inspectors will ask to review records documenting employee training, practices, procedures and water quality. The Produce Safety Rule requires farms to maintain such documents for a period of two years. An inspection of the production site will also be conducted, which could include growing, harvesting, packing and holding procedures to verify that facilities and activities meet Produce Safety Rule requirements. Farmers should be prepared to answer specific questions regarding their operation as it relates to the Produce Safety Rule.

About California Produce Safety Inspectors

Toggle section "About California Produce Safety Inspectors"

Produce Safety Rule inspections will be done on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As such, Produce Safety Program inspectors are credentialed by the FDA and have specific education and training.

As with all other programs within the CDFA's Inspection Services Division, you can expect the following from CDFA Produce Inspectors. They are:

  • Financially independent and unbiased.
  • Accountable to the public, legislature and industry.
  • Part of a public agency mandated to protect the food supply.
  • Trained rigorously in food safety standards.
  • Consistent and uniform.
  • Required to report threats to public health to the appropriate authorities – in this case, the California Department of Public Health.

The primary difference between Produce Safety Program inspectors and CDFA auditors for leafy greens (LGMA) and cantaloupe (CCAB) safety is the Produce Safety Program inspectors are performing inspections on behalf of the FDA.

Meet the Produce Safety Program Team

Toggle section "Meet the Produce Safety Program Team"
Karen Ross Portrait

Karen Ross

Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Natalie Krout-Greenberg Portrait

Natalie Krout-Greenberg

Director, Inspection Services

No photo available

Marcee Yount

Branch Chief, Inspection and Compliance Branch

future member

Geetika Joshi

Program Manager

Sarah Standiford Portrait

Sarah Standiford

Supervisory Environmental Scientist - Inspections Supervisor

Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor

Supervisory Environmental Scientist – Program Supervisor

Emma Middlemiss Portrait

Emma Middlemiss

Senior Environmental Scientist - Compliance Specialist

Bryce Praditkul Portrait

Bryce Praditkul

Senior Environmental Scientist - Compliance Specialist

Briana Russell

Briana Russell

Senior Environmental Scientist – Standardization and Training Specialist

Angela Terrazas

Angela Terrazas

Senior Environmental Scientist – Produce Safety Rule and Outreach Specialist

Peiman Aminabadi

Peiman Aminabadi

Senior Environmental Scientist – Foodborne Outbreak Specialist

Wendy Hoag Portrait

Wendy Hoag

Human Resources Liaison

Tara Cornelius Portrait

Tara Cornelius

Office Technician

No photo available

Vacant

Budget Analyst

Meet the Regional Produce Safety Inspectors

Toggle section "Meet the Regional Produce Safety Inspectors"

Northern California and Northern Coast Inspectors

Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Northern California Region

Email Michael Lawrence 916-229-3000

Central Valley Region Inspectors

Carolyn Chandler

Carolyn Chandler

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Valley Region

Email Carolyn Chandler 916-747-7153

Karrie Batchelor

Karrie Batchelor

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Valley Region

Email Karrie Batchelor 559-221-1061

Central Coast Region Inspectors

Estrella Perez

Estrella Perez

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Coast Region

Email Estrella Perez 831-620-2552

vacant place holder

Matthew Nielsen

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Coast Region

Email Matthew Nielsen 805-561-3145

Margaret Castro

Margaret Castro

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Coast Region

Email Margaret Castro 831-207-7994

Carmen Castaneyra

Carmen Castaneyra

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Coast Region

Email Carmen Castaneyra 805-393-1399

Southern California Region Inspectors

Dana James

Dana James

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Southern California Region

Email Dana James 619-323-7846

Jennifer Perez

Jennifer Perez

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Southern California Region

Email Jennifer Perez 909-838-1275