Welcome to the Sprout Safety Alliance Online

The Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA), a public-private alliance, develops a core curriculum, training and outreach programs for stakeholders in the sprout production community to enhance the industry's understanding and implementation of the requirements in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, and best practices for improving sprout safety.

SSA News

SSA-ISGA webinar: Is Listeria under Control in Your Sprout or Microgreen Operation? was conducted on september 30, 2019. 

Presentation audio file: https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/7018401924813121793

SSA Sprout Grower 2-day Training in Spanish was conducted on January 8-9, 2019 in San Fernando CA. The next Spanish course will be scheduled upon request.

Launch of the SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course

On December 14, 2017, SSA launched the SSA Sprout Grower Training Blended Course.  This course was developed to provide an alternative way for individuals to complete the SSA Sprout Grower Training course. It consists of two parts. Part 1 is online and Part 2 is a one-day instructor-led course.

For upcoming SSA trainings, please click here.  

SSA Training Curriculum Second Edition Available for Free Download

 Safer Sprout Production for Produce Safety Rule Compliance
This training manual is also available for purchase from the FSPCA Bookstore website.

SSA Technical Assistance Network (TAN)

SSA TAN was created for individuals to submit a sprout safety related technical question to the SSA Food Safety Experts. 

News on FDA Rules and Guidance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidance to provide recommendations to those in the sprout seed industry to help reduce food safety hazards in the production of seed used for sprouting.  This guidance, titled "Reducing Microbial Food Safety Hazards in the Production of Seed for Sprouting," is intended to provide food safety recommendations for those that grow, condition, pack, hold or distribute seed for sprouting.

EPA has granted conditional approval for the use of Clorox (Active Ingredient: Sodium Hypochlorite, 6%) to treat alfalfa seed for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella (EPA Registration 5813-111  and EPA Registration 5813-114). 

FDA has determined that specific methods are “scientifically valid” and “at least equivalent to the method of analysis in § 112.151(a) in accuracy, precision, and sensitivity” in detecting or quantifying generic Escherichia coli in agricultural water, Listeria species or L. monocytogenes in environmental samples, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in spent sprout irrigation water or sprout samples.

On May 25, 2018, FDA issued a revised Small Entity Compliance Guide.  This guidance document was prepared in accordance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Public Law 104-121, as amended by Public Law 110-28). It is intended to help small entities comply with the food facility registration regulations set forth in 21 CFR, Part 1, Subpart H (21 CFR 1.225 through 1.245). These regulations are binding and have the full force and effect of law.

In January 2018, FDA released a draft guidance for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs.  The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for industry on the requirements for a foreign supplier verification program (FSVP) in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L, that importers of human or animal food must establish and follow to ensure that each food they import into the United States meets applicable U.S. requirements and is not adulterated or (for human food) misbranded with respect to allergen labeling.

Having questions on the FDA Produce Safety Rule?
Please visit the FDA FSMA Technical Assistance Network (TAN) webpage and submit your inquiry through this link: https://cfsan.secure.force.com/Inquirypage/

SSA's Accomplishment Highlights

Training Summary (from August 1, 2016 to June 2019)

Courses Held

Sprout Grower Training and Lead Instructor Combo Course


Lead Instructor Course


Sprout Grower 2-day Training Course


Sprout Grower 2-day Training Course in Spanish


Sprout Grower and Lead Instructor Training Combo Blended Course


Sprout Grower Training Blended Course


SSA Lead Instructors Trained

SSA Lead Instructor Candidates Trained


SSA Lead Instructors Approved


International SSA Lead Instructors Approved


Sprout Growers Trained

Sprout Operations


Individual Sprout Growers Trained


Regulators Trained

Federal Regulators Trained


State Regulators Trained


International Regulators Trained


Sprout Retailer Trained

Supermarket Chain Food Safety Manager Trained


SSA-FDA Webinar –March 2017

The SSA hosted a FDA webinar “Overview of Draft Guidance to Industry: Compliance with and Recommendations for Implementing FDA’s Produce Safety Rule for Sprout Operations” on March 6, 2017.  This guidance is intended to assist sprout operations subject to the Produce Safety Rule, and primarily focuses on assisting such operations in complying with the sprout-specific requirements in Subpart M.

SSA Training Curriculum Second Edition Finalized- March 2017

SSA-FDA Webinar -2016

The SSA hosted a FDA webinar “Final Rule for Produce Safety: Key Provisions in the Rule” on January 14, 2016.

SSA-FDA Webinar -2015

The SSA hosted a FDA webinar “Implementing the Produce Rule” following a brief presentation about the SSA overview and progress on May 22, 2015.

FDA honors SSA with Award!

Participants in the SSA were recognized at the 53rd Annual FDA Honor Awards Ceremony with the Group Recognition Award. This award recognizes “superior achievement of the Agency’s mission through teamwork, partnership, shared responsibility, or fostering collaboration and coalition to achieve FDA goals.” The development of the training programs and curriculum is a truly collaborative effort between the sprout industry, academia and federal, state and local government representatives, and the SSA team is honored to be recognized for their hard work.

For more details about SSA Accomplishments, please click here.