Inspection Services Blog

CA Farm to School Network newsletter highlights funding, events, grantees and opportunities

Click here to view the California Farm to School Network newsletter.

The California Farm to School Network includes farm to school practitioners and enthusiasts statewide. Click on the newsletter subscribe button to also receive these monthly updates that include information about grants, resources, research, webinars, events and news from the National Farm to School Network. The California Farm to School Program is part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) in the Division of Inspection Services.

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Proposed revision to Produce Safety Rule agricultural water requirements — comment period open through April 5

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing a revision of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule that would change the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule (other than sprouts). Most California fruit, vegetable and nut farms are covered by the Produce Safety Rule, including those with more than $25,000 in average annual produce sales, with some exceptions.

FDA’s proposed revision is intended to address stakeholder concerns about the complexity and practical implementation of certain pre-harvest agricultural water requirements. The proposed revision does not change requirements for agricultural water used during and after harvest, or for sprouts. It would introduce a systems-based, pre-harvest agricultural water assessment to evaluate potential hazards and guide risk management decision-making on the farm. Public comments about the FDA’s proposed revision may be submitted via the Federal Register until April 5, 2022.

In California, the Produce Safety Rule is regulated on FDA’s behalf by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Produce Safety Program. During the proposed revision’s comment period and until the FDA rulemaking process has been completed, CDFA’s Produce Safety Program will maintain the current inspection process related to this section of the Produce Safety Rule.

Visit CDFA’s Produce Safety Program webpage for more information about farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule.

View this post on CDFA Planting Seeds or the Produce Safety Rules! Blog.

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FREP blog encourages registering for California Plant and Soil Virtual Conference Feb. 1-3

The 2022 California Plant and Soil Conference will be held virtually February 1-3, 2022. Organized by the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy, this annual conference provides an opportunity for students, professionals and other attendees to increase their scientific knowledge concerning the interrelationship of plants, soil and the environment.

For more details, read this blog by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP).

FREP is a CDFA program that funds and facilitates research to advance the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use and handling of fertilizing materials. It is part of the Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services branch of CDFA’s Division of Inspection Services.

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Did you know produce inspections at the wholesale level are an integral part of CDFA Standardization Program?

Recent CDFA Standardization Program inspections at a wholesale location found several violations, including (left) a minimum quality violation of melons exceeding tolerance for decay and (right) a labeling violation of missing identity, responsibility and quantity statement.

Did you know that produce inspections at the wholesale level are an integral part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Standardization Program?

CDFA’s Standardization Program has roots back to 1915, when at the behest of the California fresh fruit and vegetable industry, the California Legislature established minimum standards for all fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables to protect consumers and the industry from substandard products. Standardization also promulgates and processes regulations concerning standardization of quality, maturity, containers, labeling and packing requirements – examples of which can be seen in the accompanying photos.

Standardization laws establish minimum standards for maturity, quality, size, standard container and pack, and container markings. Staff members from CDFA and California county agricultural commissioner offices enforce the standards through inspections that take place in fields, packinghouses, wholesale markets, retail distribution centers, retail outlets and highway inspection stations.

CDFA’s Standardization Program is in the Inspection and Compliance Branch of the Inspection Services Division.

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Winter 2022 Quarterly Feed Update released by Commercial Feed Regulatory Program

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Commercial Feed Regulatory Program (CFRP) announces the release of its Winter 2022 Quarterly Feed Update. Click here to view the newsletter.

Highlights include:

  • Results of a research trial on the effects of feeding lipid-extracted hemp residue to lactating goats
  • Details on food safety Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training
  • Feed Inspection Advisory Board (FIAB) Technical Advisory Subcommittee update
  • Members of the Animal Health Branch Secure Food Supply Program touring a California livestock feed mill
  • CFRP finalizes 2021/2022 animal food safety contract with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • CFRP participation in Diversion Strategy webinars available to view online

CFRP is part of the Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services Branch of CDFA’s Division of Inspection Services.

Posted in CDFA Commercial Feed Regulatory Program, CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board, CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board Technical Advisory Subcommittee, CDFA Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services Branch, CDFA Inspection Services Division, CDFA Livestock Drug Program, CDFA Safe Animal Feed Education (SAFE) | Leave a comment

CDFA scientist Cady published in Progressive Crop Consultant magazine

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) Senior Environmental Scientist Mark Cady had an article he co-authored, “Nitrogen Regulations in California and the Certified Crop Adviser’s Role,” published in the September 2021 edition of Progressive Crop Consultant magazine. Article co-author is Jerome Pier, senior agronomist, QualiTech Plant Nutrition.

The article provides an overview of water quality regulations and how they have expanded dramatically in the past decade. It also emphasizes how important it is for crop consultants to be attuned to these regulations as they communicate with their growers and the agriculture industry.

Click here to read the article.

Citation

Cady, M., Pier, J., “Nitrogen Regulations in California and the Certified Crop Adviser’s Role.” Progressive Crop Consultant, September 2, 2021; https://progressivecrop.com/2021/09/nitrogen-regulations-in-california-and-the-certified-crop-advisers-role/.

Posted in CDFA Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services Branch, CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP), CDFA Inspection Services Division | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Showcasing the work of CDFA’s Inspection Services Division

CDFA’s Inspection Services Division has released its Annual Report for 2021 (Fiscal year ’20-’21).

CDFA Inspection Services Division Annual Report 2021

The report gives an overview of programs within the Inspection Services Division (ISD), as well as information about boards and committees; a fiscal year summary; and the mission, vision and goals of ISD employees. Pictures and statistics illustrate how programs fulfill the CDFA Strategic Plan goals of: promoting and protecting agriculture, maximizing resources, providing engagement and education, remaining dedicated to customer service, and investing in employee development.

Highlights include:

  • The Direct Marketing Program reported 2,427 Certified Producer Certificates were issued and there were more than 627 Certified Farmers’ Markets operating in California.
  • The Center for Analytical Chemistry developed 13 new scientific methods while satisfying the regulatory and monitoring needs of 30 public agencies.
  • The Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) Grant Program awarded more than $2 million to universities and agricultural organizations for research, demonstration and education projects related to the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use and handling of fertilizing materials.
  • The Farm to School Incubator Grant Program awarded $8.5 million to 60 farm to school projects in California to support local and regional farm to school projects that promote nutrition education, sustainable food production and procurement, and high-quality student engagement through experiential learning.

Visit the Inspection Services Division homepage to learn more about its mission to provide professional services that support and contribute to a safe, abundant, quality food supply; environmentally sound agricultural practices; and an equitable marketplace for California agriculture.

View this original post on the CDFA Planting Seeds blog.

Posted in California Nutrition Incentive Program, CDFA Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship Program, CDFA Avocado Inspection Program, CDFA California Citrus Program, CDFA California State Organic Program, CDFA Center for Analytical Chemistry, CDFA Commercial Feed Regulatory Program, CDFA Direct Marketing Program, CDFA Environmental Safety Laboratory, CDFA Farm to School Network, CDFA Farm to School Program, CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board, CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board Technical Advisory Subcommittee, CDFA Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services Branch, CDFA Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board, CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP), CDFA Fertilizing Materials Inspection Program, CDFA Food Recovery, CDFA Food Safety Laboratory, CDFA Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program, CDFA Inspection & Compliance Branch, CDFA Inspection Services Division, CDFA Livestock Drug Program, CDFA OCal Cannabis Certification Program, CDFA Office of Farm to Fork, CDFA Organic Input Material Program, CDFA Organic Input Material Program, CDFA Produce Safety Program, CDFA Quality Assurance Program, CDFA Regulatory Analysis Laboratory, CDFA Safe Animal Feed Education (SAFE), CDFA Shipping Point Inspection Program, CDFA Standardization Advisory Committee, CDFA Standardization Program, CDFA Technical Assistance Program, Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board Technical Advisory Subcommittee, Inspection Services Division Administration Unit | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

California continues to lead in organic agriculture production

California accounts for 36 percent of all organic production in the United States, leading the nation, and organic production and organic sales are expected to continue to grow.

According to the must recent figures, organic sales in 2020 totaled $11.99 billion, which is an increase of 14 percent from 2019. The top five counties in terms of overall gross sales for 2020 were Monterey County, Los Angeles County, Santa Cruz County, Kern County and Merced County.

Between 2014 and 2020, California farmland in organic production increased 22 percent, from 1,796,080 acres to 2,186,551 acres.

The information mentioned above and more may be found in the California Agricultural Organic Report for 2020-2021, which is scheduled to be published in early 2022. A link to the the 2019-2020 report may be found here.

View this original post on the CDFA Planting Seeds blog.

Posted in CDFA California State Organic Program, CDFA Inspection & Compliance Branch, CDFA Inspection Services Division | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Farm to School Network newsletter spotlights grantees, school gardens, resources

Click here to view the California Farm to School Network December newsletter.

The California Farm to School Network includes farm to school practitioners and enthusiasts statewide. Click on the newsletter subscribe button to also receive these monthly updates that include information about grants, resources, research, webinars, events and news from the National Farm to School Network. The California Farm to School Program is part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) in the Division of Inspection Services.

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CDFA food safety scientists celebrate 30 years of continuous growth partnering with USDA Pesticide Data Program

Logo of CDFA Inspection Services Center for Analytical Chemistry

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) joins the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Agricultural Marketing Service Pesticide Data Program (PDP). CDFA’s Center for Analytical Chemistry (CAC) Food Safety group has partnered with PDP since its inception in 1991.

PDP is a federal partnership with nine states that monitors pesticide residues in the U.S. food supply. PDP data helps demonstrate the high quality of the U.S. food supply — analyses show that pesticide residues are lower than the limits established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in nearly all food samples (typically >99%).

The partnership between the agencies started with a screening list of 28 pesticide compounds. It has since expanded the scope to detect and quantify more than 515 compounds.

Partnering in this project has helped the CAC Food Safety program model its quality system framework into one that generates the highest-quality data for enforcement and regulatory purposes. Innovation was fostered through CAC scientists applying novel analytical methods and custom-made software to automate data processing and review.

“These endeavors opened doors to continuous technical improvement and enabled us to significantly increase our capability to generate high-quality, defensible data in a fast-turnaround work environment,” said CAC Environmental Program Manager Tiffany Tu. “The benefit gained from collaborating with other agencies in the pesticide analysis field in impactful scientific projects helped further our goal of being in the forefront of the pesticide analysis arena, which also ensures CAC Food Safety program’s relevance in our mission of promoting and protecting California agriculture.”

CDFA’s Center for Analytical Chemistry is a branch of the  Inspection Services Division.

View this original CDFA Planting Seeds blog post.

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