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Produce Safety Training

Breana Kiser, Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent

 

Farmers Market ProduceIf you are a fruit or vegetable grower who sell their producer from either home or at a farmer’s market have an opportunity to learn more about produce safety this spring. Postharvest handling and sanitation, and worker health, hygiene, and training are among the topics that will be covered.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is transforming the nation’s food safety system by shifting the focus from responding to foodborne illness to preventing it. Congress enacted FSMA in response to dramatic changes in the global food system and in our understanding foodborne illness and its consequences, including the realization that preventable foodborne illness is both a significant public health problem and a threat to the economic well-being of the food system.

The FDA has finalized seven major rules to implement FSMA, recognizing the ensuring the safety of the food supply is a shared responsibility among many different points in the global supply chain for both human and animal food. The FSMA rules are designed to make clear specific actions that must be taken at each of these points to prevent contamination.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is providing the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course in cooperation with ND Farmers Union on April 5th at the ND Farmers Union in Jamestown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Providing safe food requires a field-to-fork approach,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist. “We are pleased to have partnerships in providing this training for growers and educators. Connie Landis Fisk from Cornell University will lead the training. Holly Mawby from Dakota College at Bottineau and I will assist with the workshop.”

 

Participants will learn about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rules, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Good Agricultural Practices audits, co-management of natural resources and food safety. This training is required for all producers who are not exempt from the FSMA regulations.

Trainers will cover seven areas:

  • Introduction to produce safety
  • Worker health, hygiene and training
  • Soil amendments
  • Wildlife, domestic animals and land use
  • Agricultural water
  • Postharvest handling and sanitation
  • How to develop a farm food safety plan

“I see this training as an excellent opportunity to not only get the training necessary under FSMA but also a chance to share their experiences with other growers,” says Jason McKenney, cooperative specialist with the North Dakota Farmers Union. “Even if a producer does not require training under the current regulations, I see this training as an opportunity for growers to add value to what they grow.”

The training is an outcome of the North Central Region Center for FSMA Training, Extension and Technical Assistance.

The cost of the training is $25. Register online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/fieldtofork.

For more information, contact Garden-Robinson at 701-231-7187 or julie.garden-robinson@ndsu.edu.

 

 

 

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