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On-Farm Readiness Reviews

The On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a non-regulatory, confidential assessment of a farm’s readiness for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, conducted on the farm. It is an excellent opportunity for fruit and vegetable growers to determine how their on-farm practices align with the Produce Safety Rule.

For each farm assessment, the OFRR team will consist of 2-3 staff from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University Extension.

For more information on what to expect during an OFRR, see this factsheet, and check this page frequently for updates.

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An On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a non-regulatory, confidential visit to a farm to assess a farm’s readiness for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. It is a discussion with the grower about his/her food safety practices and how those practices align with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR).

The OFRR team consists of two Colorado State University Extension staff. One additional Colorado Department of Agricultural or CSU Extension staff member may also attend but the team will be limited to a maximum of three people.

It is best to have the OFRR when activities are occurring on your farm. It is most beneficial for OFRR team to be able to observe harvesting, packing and/or holding activities while they are occurring on your farm. This allows the OFRR team to evaluate how your practices align with PSR  and discuss their observations with you.

An OFRR is completely voluntary and is requested by the farmer. It is an excellent opportunity for farmers to determine how their on-farm practices align with the Produce Safety Rule and ask questions they may have about the Produce Safety Rule. While the OFRR is not required, the goal is that all farms would have an OFRR prior to a Produce Safety Rule inspection to ensure that growers feel ready for inspection.

No. The OFRR is designed to help growers determine if they are in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule, and highlight those areas where they might need to make improvements to their food safety practices.

The OFRR will not prepare you for a USDA GAP/HGAP, Primus, GFSI or any other food safety audit a buyer may request. While some of the same topics may be covered, the OFRR is a discussion with the grower about Produce Safety Rule compliance, rather than meeting specific audit requirements.

Yes. All sizes of farms can request an OFRR. Priority will be given to those farms that are required to be in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule but anyone who grows produce and is interested in produce safety can request an OFRR.

The OFRR generally takes 2-4 hours depending upon the size of the farm and what activities the farm performs (growing, harvesting, packing, and/or holding).

No. The OFRR will help prepare you for a Produce Safety Rule Inspection but it does not take the place of an inspection nor will it be a substitute for an inspection.

The farmer and the OFRR Assessors will walk around the farm discussing your food safety practices and identifying potential food safety risks. Farmers can view this as a “second set of eyes” looking at their food safety practices from an outside perspective.

The OFRR Assessor team will ask you to describe your food safety practices as they relate to the Produce Safety Rule. The areas that will be covered are: Worker Health and Hygiene Training; Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin; Wildlife and Domesticated Animals; Agricultural Water use; Pre and Post Harvest Activities and Sanitation; and Equipment, Tools, and/or Buildings used for covered activities and produce.  

No. The goal of the OFRR is to walk around the farm and view harvesting, packing and/or holding activities while they are taking place. Please note that a food safety plan can help farmers organize their practices but it is not required for compliance with the Produce Safety Rule.

No. The OFRR assessors will discuss records required under the Produce Safety Rule but they will not review them unless a grower requests that option.

OFRRs will generally only be a one-time visit to the farm. There could be an occasion where it would help a grower to have an additional visit. Examples of this include if the food safety manager who did the original OFRR leaves or if the farm business undergoes a major change or makes upgrades that impact food safety practices.

You can have as many people from your farm attend the OFRR as you would like. The person who knows the most about the farm food safety practices should definitely attend.

Ideally, farmers who are interested in an OFRR will have attended a Produce Safety Alliance Grower training prior to the visit. Farmers can also prepare for an OFRR by reviewing their food safety practices and identifying any areas of concern. Also, farmers can think back to the Produce Safety Alliance Grower training they attended and determine if they still have questions about the Produce Safety Rule.

Growers can request an OFRR by completing the online form or contacting Cristy Dice at 970-491-2942 or Cristy.L.Dice@colostate.edu.

As of August 2020 there have been 36 OFRRs completed across Colorado including the Front Range, Western Slope and Arkansas Valley.

This website is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $155,546.58 with 100 percent funded by FDA]/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, FDA/HHS or the U.S. Government.