The answer to that is both yes and no. Here is why...
Due to a rise In major outbreaks of food borne illnesses, Congress proposed new food safety measures that expanded food safety regulations to the farm level. The result was the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The regulations focus on risks from microbial pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella.
These new standards apply to fruits and vegetables that are normally consumed raw and cover a host of farm operations. A few examples are irrigation water, worker health, hygiene, and training. Accompanying these standards are certain record keeping requirements that document adherence to the standards.
By now you're asking, "What does this have to do with me? I just want to pick my own blueberries!"
For several years we have been selling our fruit into the commercial market. For grocery stores to be willing to to buy the fruit, they need to know that we are in compliance with FSMA, and they do that via an audit of our farm operations. Therefore, we are unable to open all of our fields to visitors until the end of the commercial season. The fields that are open for early U-Pick are available, with some restrictions, to Harvest Club members and there we strive to maintain those same high standards.
Please click the "info" button to join our Harvest Club!