Farm to School — Tools for Producers

Agricultural producers considering sales to schools, child care centers, and summer meal program sponsors, should review these applicable federal and state regulations and policies related to selling products wholesale. This list may not include all regulations applicable to your business.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
FSMA shifts food safety regulations from a system that focuses on responding to contaminations to one that focuses on preventing them. FSMA was enacted on January 4, 2011, and authorizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take a preventive approach to food safety.

FSMA - Produce Safety Rule

TDA's specific role is through a cooperative agreement with FDA to advance efforts for a nationally integrated food safety system through the planning, establishment, and/or enhancement of state produce safety programs that encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables, and to promote understanding and compliance with the requirements of FDA’s Regulation “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” (commonly referred to as the Produce Safety Rule). TDA is creating the necessary infrastructure and conducting grower outreach, education and inspections based on the FSMA regulation. Visit TDA’s FSMA – Produce Safety Web page for more information, resources and agency contact information.

FSMA - Preventive Controls for Human Food and the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food 
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the regulatory agency for implementation of FDA rules related to manufacturing, warehouse storage, and transportation of food for human consumption. More information about the related policies is available through the DSHS website.

Meat Safety
An individual who contemplates engaging in a business slaughtering livestock and/or processing meat or poultry or meat or poultry food products should contact the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Meat Safety Assurance (MSA) Unit to determine whether the proposed business is required to have a Grant of Inspection. A Grant of Inspection is an authorization from DSHS to engage in a meat or poultry related business. More information is available through the DSHS website.

Bottled and Vended Water for food manufacturers, wholesalers, and warehouses

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) licenses businesses that process and bottle water in sealed containers. More information about the required Food Manufacturer license is available through the DSHS website.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Food Safety Program
This website, developed by Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service, includes a variety of food safety resources, as well as information about upcoming training and events.

Additional resources can also be found on USDA’s Farm to School Web pages.

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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