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.

Inspections of farms by the Produce Safety Program began April 2019 for large farms. During an inspection, inspectors from the Program observe farm practices and review required records of produce farms.

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 other CDFA produce inspectors, 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

Rick Jensen Portrait

Rick Jensen

Special Assistant

Steve Patton Portrait

Steve Patton

Branch Chief, Inspection and Compliance Branch

Shelley D. Phillips Portrait

Shelley D. Phillips

Supervisory Environmental Scientist - Program Supervisor

Zach Barlow

Zach Barlow

Budget Analyst

Karina Macias Portrait

Karina Macias

Office Technician

Bryce Praditkul Portrait

Bryce Praditkul

Senior Environmental Scientist - Compliance Officer

Shane Rainey Portrait

Shane Rainey

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Northern California Region 1

DeLarian Dyson Portrait

DeLarian Dyson

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Sacramento Valley Region 2

Avery Cromwell Portrait

Avery Cromwell

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Coast Region 3

Julian Potier Portrait

Julian Potier

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Central Valley Region 4

Rodrigo Chipres Portrait

Rodrigo Chipres

Environmental Scientist-Inspector, Southern California Region 5