At the federal level, food safety regulations are in the midst of a major overhaul. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) asked the Food and Drug Administration to conduct a major update of federal food safety laws – the first since 1938! While FSMA included some specific provisions, it was up to the FDA to write the final regulations. The regulations could impact anyone who grows, harvests, packs, or stores fruits and vegetables, as well as those who process or manufacture food. The FDA released its proposed rules in the fall of 2013 and it is expected that another round of draft rules will be released in the winter of 2016. To stay abreast of changes, visit the Produce Safety Alliance. For policy advocacy opportunities, you can track the work of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center in Ronan can provide Food Safety Program Development assistance. Located in Ronan, Lake County Community Development’s Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center is a fully functioning food processing, research and development facility. The food processing facility is inspected by a variety of entities and is available for rent for your food processing needs.

Other certified commercial kitchens may be available for rent in your community. Consider reaching out to your local sanitarian to see if they know of any kitchens that may be available. If you’re in Missoula, try Moonlight Kitchens.