Food Safety

Important Update:

Please note that the Grassroots Guide has not yet been updated to reflect changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill, which was passed and signed into law in December 2018. We are in the process of updating the Guide and expect to publish an updated version in the spring of 2019. In the meantime, please use this guide for basic information about programs and important resources and links for more information, but check with USDA for any relevant program changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill. Also, check out our blog series covering highlights from the new farm bill. 

Farmers and consumers alike have a shared interest in growing and eating safe food. The risk of foodborne illness — that is, the risk of getting sick or dying from food contaminated with pathogens like Salmonella — is largely preventable by good food safety measures applied at every step from farm to fork. From the fields where food is grown to the family dinner table, food safety matters to everyone who eats. Examples of good measures include hand washing and keeping foods at the right temperature.

Federal policy shapes our nation’s food safety practices on farms and facilities, from supporting food safety training for farmers to developing standards for businesses to follow to ensure food safety.

Ensuring a safe food supply is critical for consumers, farmers, and food businesses, and starts with education and training from field to fork.

The 2014 Farm Bill and other bills – like the annual appropriations bills that set the federal discretionary budget, or the Food Safety Modernization Act – include key programs and policies that support and encourage food safety practices on farms.

This section of our guide provides an overview of key federal programs focused on food safety initiatives. It includes programs directly available to producers as well as programs available to community-based organizations and institutions working on the ground to foster food safety practices on farms and across the value chain.