The FDA is being flexible for when states may begin conducting routine inspections of small farms—other than sprouts operations—under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, which will generally begin in Spring 2020. However, the FDA is clarifying that states receiving competition A/B funding as part of the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) may begin routine inspections as early as January 1, 2020.

This clarification is being made after several requests from states to have greater flexibility to align routine inspections with the winter growing season where applicable. Individual states will make final decisions on whether to initiate their first routine inspections of small farms at the earlier date in January 2020.

States that want to begin routine inspections of small farms, other than sprouts operations, on January 1, 2020, should prioritize completing their planned inspections of large farms subject to the rule before conducting routine inspections of those small farms.

Additional information can be found in the constituent update and the Produce Inspections web pages at