Prior to submitting its official comments, United Fresh will publicly release a draft of its ideas to gain industry feedback. The association could tweak the comments before the submission to FDA.

Stenzel concluded, “The produce industry has hundreds, if not thousands, of different packing facilities and warehouses. We want them to be safe. We want to make sure that the (FDA) standards are not applied where there is no public health risk.”

Will Steele, United Fresh’s grower-shipper board chairman, called the diversity of the produce industry and the complexity of the FDA proposed rules a monumental undertaking.

“The stakes for our industry could not be higher,” Steele said.

Three more proposed FSMA proposed rules are forthcoming which will address foreign supplier verification, accredited third party certification, and preventative controls for animal food.

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