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Health & Science

Ohio Department of Agriculture Offers Free Consulting to Farmers for Upcoming Inspections

FDA inspectors
FDA website
Food and Drug Administration inspectors examine fruit shipments.

Inspectors enforcing the federal Food Safety Modernization Act will soon be coming to produce farms across the country.  That’s why the Ohio Agriculture Department, which will actually be staffing the local inspections, is offering free “consulting” to help area farmers get ready for those visits. 

Ohio field
Credit Ohio Department of Agriculture
Farmers across the state, including those that own farms like this one in Clermont County, Ohio, have the opportunity to participate in a "consulting" program with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to prepare for new regulations.

The Food Safety law was passed in 2011 to prevent food contamination. Because of its complexity, it’s being rolled out in stages.  

Ohio Agriculture Department spokeswoman Ashley McDonald said farm inspection is next.

“It is currently in place, but the inspections won’t actually be set in stone and taking place until the spring of next year,” she said.

And, she said, the state will send a consultant, free of charge to any farmer who wants help preparing for the inspections that will touch on seven areas.

“They range from everything from health and hygiene, so growers and their employees washing their hands to reduce the spread of contamination, all the way to proper maintenance of their equipment and the tools that they’re using,” McDonald said.

Consultations can be scheduled on the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Division website