FDA recently took another step toward developing science- and risk-based safety standards aimed at preventing food safety problems in produce. The ultimate goal of such safety standards is one we all share: to reduce the risk of illness associated with fresh produce.
FDA is committed to doing this right. That's why we've been listening to people across the country who know produce. That includes people who are working day-to-day in production and packing. FDA has participated in listening sessions in states such as North Carolina, Florida, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Georgia, and Ohio. We will participate in even more sessions during the coming months, including visits to farming operations large and small. We continue to work closely with our food safety partners at the federal, state, and local levels and with experts from academia. We've even borrowed experts from USDA to help us as we develop this rule.
We want to make it as easy as possible for stakeholders to share their knowledge and concerns. That's why we've already opened a public docket to accept comments. This way, we're getting ahead of the game by actively engaging our stakeholders while we're developing the proposed rule that we plan to publish within the year.