South Carolina Farmers Can Now Apply Online for Produce Safety Rule Exemption

Clint Thompson South Carolina, Top Posts

COLUMBIA — There are about 2,700 produce farms in South Carolina – and many are potentially exempt from the Produce Safety Rule, meaning they would not have to undergo routine inspections by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Produce Safety team. But unless a farm has applied for an exemption and received a certificate from South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA), they are not exempt. Exemption certificates are only good for one year, so farms must re-apply every year for exemption.

Fortunately, SCDA has made the process easier with a new digital application tool for Produce Safety Exemptions.

To view exemption requirements and complete the application, visit

The Produce Safety Rule is part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in 2011. This regulation focuses on setting federal regulatory standards for the production, harvest, and handling of fruits and vegetables, in an effort to prevent microbial contamination and reduce foodborne illnesses associated with fresh produce. 

Questions? Contact Brooke Horton, SCDA’s Produce Safety Outreach Coordinator, at