The July 20 to 21 Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training and Farm Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop in Peru, NY, is among the first training opportunities in the U.S. to provide farmers with the new federal certificate that is expected to be required as part of the new Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule expected to be finalized in October 2015.
A collaboration by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program, Cornell University, Produce Safety Alliance, National GAPs Program, New World Foundation, and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is offering the two-day training at St. Augustine’s Parish in Peru, NY.
Some markets require sellers to have a formal food safety plan or third party verification of the safety of their products. The July training will cover how to develop an approved Farm Food Safety Plan and how to meet third party audit requirements. Participants must bring a laptop computer, farm maps or packinghouse floor plans to begin preparing a plan for their farm.
The workshop topics also include worker health, hygiene and training; soil amendments; agricultural water; postharvest handling and sanitation; and wildlife, domestic animals and land use. The course provides a foundation in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and an understanding of the microorganisms that impact food safety on the farm. Participants will learn how to identify microbial risks and use practices that reduce those risks.
A Farm Worker Training CD, grower self-assessment for food safety risks, templates for writing a food safety plan and record keeping, and a Produce Safety Alliance Course Manual are among the resources participants will receive to take home. Those who successfully complete the training will receive an Association of Food and Drug Officials certificate that meets the FSMA Produce Safety Rule training requirement.
The proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, expected to become final in October 2015, is currently written to require at least one supervisor from the farm to complete food safety training at least equivalent to the standardized curriculum recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. The collaborators offering the July 20-21 training will offer a required webinar or conference to update participants on any final approved regulations.