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Dec 12, 2015 10:44 AM

Federal government to discuss food safety rules with New England growers

The Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Northeast farmers are anxious to learn what new federal food safety rules aimed at preventing foodborne illnesses mean for them.

Representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the heads of the Vermont and Maine agriculture agencies will meet with New England farmers in a regional meeting on Monday in Brattleboro, Vermont, to discuss the rules for such things as preventing contamination in fields containing manure to monitoring irrigation water.

Smaller growers — those with an average of $25,000 or less in annual produce sales or less than an average of $500,000 in food sales over the last three years — are exempt from the produce rule though some are required to keep certain documentation.

The rules will be phased in over several years.

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