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Worries Abound Over New Food Prep Regulations For Small Businesses And Farms

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 4/22/2011

FDA plans to implement new oversight regulations that have small businesses worried.

As the U.S Food and Drug Administration prepares to update 100-year-old food-safety regulations, many small businesses, including farmers and food producers, are worried about how they will be affected.

New Food Prep Regulations

The Food Safety Modernization Act exempts meat, eggs and dairy products from the regulations, as well as businesses selling less than $500,000 within 275 miles of the food production in the same state, yet it is still proving to be potentially troublesome small business news, the Wall Street Journal Reports.

For example, farms that are deemed "processing facilities" - which can be applied for doing tasks such as bundling lettuce - would be required to develop hazard analyses and preventive programs, including ones that address food allergens, recall plans and pathogen monitoring.

However, this could result in thousands of dollars in expenses for food producers, Mary Lou Surgi, who runs Blue Ridge Food Ventures, told the source, explaining that for one microbiological test, small businesses would have to shell out $250 per test.

"They want you to do that every time you're in production," she said. "It's insurmountable for a lot of folks. We'd like those realities to be understood."

Small business owners interested in learning more about the regulations can visit the FDA's website for FSMA. It provides videos and graphics explaining how they will be implemented, among other items.

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