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

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

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

Karen Ross Portrait

Karen Ross

Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Natalie Krout-Greenberg Portrait

Natalie Krout-Greenberg

Director, Inspection Services

Steve Patton Portrait

Steve Patton

Branch Chief, Inspection and Compliance Branch

future member

Geetika Joshi

Program Manager

Sarah Standiford Portrait

Sarah Standiford

Supervisory Environmental Scientist - Inspections Supervisor



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



Senior Environmental Scientist – Water Microbial Specialist

Gloria Chapman Portrait

Gloria Chapman

Senior Environmental Scientist – Foodborne Outbreak Specialist

Wendy Hoag Portrait

Wendy Hoag

Human Resources Liaison

Tara Cornelius Portrait

Tara Cornelius

Office Technician

Mitchell King Portrait

Mitchell King

Budget Analyst

Meet the Regional Produce Safety Inspectors

Central Valley Region Inspectors

Cristina Jimenez Portrait

Cristina Jimenez

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Valley Region

Email Cristina Jimenez 559-476-7774

future member


Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Valley Region

Erika Marcelino

Erika Marcelino

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Valley Region

Email Erika Marcelino 916-956-5961

Central Coast Region Inspectors

Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Coast Region

Email Benjamin Taylor 805-400-5794

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

Marshall Pierce

Marshall Pierce

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Southern California Region

Email Marshall Pierce 805-561-3145