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February Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings

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The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) was tasked with developing the standardized national produce safety training program to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

The PSA Grower Training Curriculum was created through a four-year nationwide development process. In 2011, after hosting an international gathering to review current educational resources, the PSA launched ten, open Working Committees (WCs), composed of one hundred seventy-eight unique members from academia, agriculture, industry, and regulatory agencies. The WCs identified key areas and learning objectives to be addressed in the grower curriculum. Additionally, grower preferences regarding produce safety training programs were collected by hosting eight in-person farmer focus groups nationwide, collecting feedback from eighty-nine produce growers. In 2015 and 2016, the PSA also engaged with the FDA Division of Produce Safety staff to align the curriculum content with the final FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements and incorporate the regulatory language throughout the curriculum modules and teaching notes. The seven module PSA Grower Training Course was designed to be delivered in one day.

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Who Should Attend

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

Note: This course has been heavily subsidized through grant funds, and next year costs are likely to increase from $50 to $200.  Please encourage any fruit and vegetable growers who must comply with the Produce Safety Rule to take advantage of these training opportunities.

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course

  • The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:
  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

For more information about the training visit: http://foodsafety.wsu.edu/training-programs/psagtandttt/

Upcoming Training Sessions

Feb 7: Richland, WA Feb 11: Moses Lake, WA Feb 18: Lynden, WA
Feb 20: Sequim, WA Feb 25: Walla Walla, WA Feb 26: Manson, WA

Additional Information

For questions related to registering for the course, please contact:
Cathy Blood, Events Coordinator
blood@wsu.edu, 509-335-2845

For any other questions, please contact:
Faith Critzer, Produce Safety Extension Specialist
faith.critzer@wsu.edu, 509-786-9203

Funding for this training was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government

 

Washington State University