Plant Industries

Serving the citizens of Arkansas and the agricultural and business communities by providing information and unbiased enforcement of laws and regulations set by the Arkansas State Plant Board

Produce Safety Program

Produce Safety - COVID-19 Health and Hygiene Practices

In light of the current public health crisis regarding COVID-19, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture Produce Safety team would like to remind you of some easy-to-follow health and hygiene practices for yourselves, your workers, and any visitors you may have at your produce farms during this time. The attached documents discuss and outline some simple, but effective, hygienic measures to abide by; please take the time to read through them.

COVID-19 guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers

In regards to sick/ill workers, visitors, or any other person(s) who may come into contact with produce during covered activities, please err on the side of safety and caution and take the necessary steps to exclude those individuals if their contact may result in contamination of covered produce or food contact surfaces. Sec. 112.31 of the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, otherwise known as the Produce Safety Rule, has been included below. This section of the Code details what actions must be taken to prevent contamination of covered produce and food contact surfaces with microorganisms of public health significance. Please take the time to read through it.

Click here to view a "When to Wash Hands Flyer."

Click here to view a "How to Wash Hands Flyer."

If any other technical assistance and/or educational resources are needed, or if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Produce Safety team.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture Produce Safety:

John Lansdale
Produce Safety Program Manager
(870) 820-6787

UACES Produce Safety:

Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez
Assistant Professor
Extension Specialist- Food Systems & Food Safety
(501) 671-2228

Produce Safety Program

Do you grow, harvest or handle fresh produce? You may have heard about the new federal regulations for Produce Growers ....

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law January of 2011. The Produce Rule of  FSMA will require some produce growers to complete training and receive certification. Cornell University’s Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) has developed a national produce safety training program to prepare fresh produce growers with the information needed to be in compliance. 

Arkansas growers will need to complete a Grower Training by compliance dates based on their annual (three year average) gross produce sales, with larger growers (>$500,000) being required to be in compliance by January 26, 2018. Smaller (>$250,000 but less than $500,000) and very small growers ($25,000 but less than $250,000) will be required to be in compliance in Jan 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Click here to view the Arkansas Produce Safety Rule

Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez, Assistant Professor in Food Systems and Food Safety will lead Arkansas’ effort to assist Produce Growers with meeting federal requirements.  The University of Arkansas Extension can provide fundamental, science-based, on-farm food safety knowledge to fresh fruit and vegetable farmers, packers, regulatory personnel and others. Produce Safety Grower Trainings are planned for later this year. Dr. Perez will share future trainings and federal regulatory updates at:

Supporting, Protecting, and Growing Arkansas Agriculture and Forestry
Contact Us
1 Natural Resources Dr.
Little Rock, AR
(501) 225-1598