Animals and Your Crops

How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
Food Safety Plan Writing Resources

Farm-to-Table Food Safety

Farm maps
Farm policies
Training records
Agricultural water test results
Emergency contact information
Supplier and buyer information
Traceability and recall plans
Contact info for contracted services

Records Required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule

Template Records in Word format


Assessing the Situation

Animals, Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use

Feces and urine from domesticated and wild animals can contaminate produce fields and water sources

Conduct pre-planting and pre-harvest assessments
Presence of animals in the environment does not necessarily mean that produce is contaminated

If animal intrusion occurs, fields must be monitored during the growing season for evidence of contamination

Steps should be taken to reduce risks from animals

Co-management should be used to balance food safety and conservation goals

Document all actions taken to reduce risks from animals and adjacent land uses

  • The rule addresses concerns about the feasibility of compliance for farms that rely on grazing animals (such as livestock) or working animals for various purposes. It establishes the same standards for these animals as it does for intrusion by wild animals (such as deer or feral swine). Farmers are required to take all measures reasonably necessary to identify and not harvest produce that is likely to be contaminated.
    • At a minimum, this requires all covered farms to visually examine the growing area and all covered produce to be harvested, regardless of the harvest method used.
    • In addition, under certain circumstances the rule requires farms to do additional assessment during the growing season, and if significant evidence of potential contamination by animals is found, to take measures reasonably necessary to assist later during harvest. Such measures might include, for example, placing flags outlining the affected area.
  • Although the final rule does not require establishing waiting periods between grazing and harvest, the FDA encourages farmers to voluntarily consider applying such intervals as appropriate for the farm’s commodities and practices. The agency will consider providing guidance on this practice in the future, as needed.
    •Farms are not required to exclude animals from outdoor growing areas, destroy animal habitat, or clear borders around growing or drainage areas. Nothing in the rule should be interpreted as requiring or encouraging such actions.

Co-Management of Food Safety and Sustainability,

Use of frightening devices in wildlife damage management

Farm Food Safety Decision Trees—Wildlife and Animal Activity Decision Tree

Wildlife and Animal Management