Decision Making Made Easy!

The purpose of the Decision Trees is to:

  1. Help you identify risks and practices that reduce risks;
  2. Prioritize the implementation of practices to use limited resources wisely;
  3. Familiarize you with the terms and methods necessary to understand and follow requirements and expectations for food safety from buyers, farm markets, schools, and federal regulations.

Begin with How to Use the Decision Trees and reviewing the Checklist to identify which Decision Tree you should complete first.

When you are ready to begin writing your farm food safety plan be sure to check out the the How to Write an SOP document and Recordkeeping Sheets.

There is a pdf Glossary in case any terms are unfamiliar.

All of the Decision Trees follow simple 'YES or NO' pathways to aid you in assessing your current practices.

These Decision Trees were developed through a collaborative project between Cornell University, University of Minnesota, and University of Tennessee supported through funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), United States Department of Agriculture project number: 2010-51110-21011.

More information

For additional information, call (315) 787–2625 or e-mail Betsy Bihn at (eab38 [at] (subject: Decision%20Trees) (eab38[at]cornell[dot]edu)).

Important Note

These Decision Trees were updated in February 2022 to incorporate the final FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements published in the Federal Register November 27, 2015.  Using this tool will help grower to assess compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, though this tool should not be viewed as comprehensive. This tool does not take the place of an inspection.

Copyright © Cornell University

Cornell University permits these materials to be downloaded, printed, and distributed for educational purposes. It may not be altered or published electronically without expressed permission of Cornell University (National Good Agricultural Practices Program, 665 West North Street, Food Research Laboratory, Geneva, NY 14456, USA). It may not be printed, published electronically, and sold in whole or in part by a third party or company for profit.