Learn more about a
Produce Safety Program Inspection

Preparing for a
Produce Safety
Rule Inspection
What to Expect
During a
Produce Safety
and Other
Questions About
Produce Safety

The Basics:

CDFA inspectors in an orchard


Produce farms across the nation are now required to comply with federal regulations under a section of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) called the Produce Safety Rule and are subject to mandatory inspections as required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


In California, on-farm inspections are conducted on behalf of the FDA by a special unit of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Inspection Services Division known as the Produce Safety Program.

Most California fruit, vegetable and nut farms are subject to regulations under the Produce Safety Rule. However, some produce items are exempt from regulations .

All farms with more than $25,000 in average annual produce sales (averaged over the previous three-year period) are required to comply with some or all parts of the Produce Safety Rule.

Smiling CDFA inspectors in an orchard


The Produce Safety Rule is now law for produce farms in the U.S., and operators of covered farms are obligated to follow the law. Practicing food safety on your farm is the right thing to do and can prevent the occurrence of foodborne illnesses. Covered farms that do not comply with the Produce Safety Rule may face economic, regulatory and legal consequences.


The Produce Safety Program's role is to educate California produce farms on how to comply with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule and then regulate farms to ensure they are in compliance with the Rule. The Produce Safety Program will conduct an inspection of your farm to ensure you are following regulations.

The Produce Safety Program's vision is safe produce through 100 percent compliance with the law. It's our goal for Produce Safety Rule requirements to become ingrained in the culture of California produce farming so that our state continues to grow and deliver the safest produce possible.


At this time, the Produce Safety Program is scheduling farm inspections based on a random selection of farms and commodity harvest periods following verification of the farm's status. To assist in this effort, California produce farms are asked to complete this farmer questionnaire.


Produce Safety Rule inspections are being conducted on farms throughout California. Inspectors are located in five regions of the state, and the Produce Safety Program is headquartered at CDFA offices in Sacramento. You can learn more about the Produce Safety Program team here.