Not sure if your produce farm has to be regulated under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act? Is your farm in compliance with required food safety standards? You’ll need to know the answers to both questions.
FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule states: “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 FDA.” Attending one of the upcoming Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Courses in Pennsylvania is one way to meet at least that requirement, says Luke LaBorde, Penn State University Extension food safety specialist.
The course has about seven hours of instruction covering good agricultural practices, management information, FSMA produce safety rule requirements, and how to develop a farm food safety plan. It’ll also cover worker hygiene and training, land use restrictions regarding domestic animals and wildlife, agricultural water, and postharvest handling and sanitation.
After attending the course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials verifying they’ve completed the training.
Here are the dates the sessions will be offered, along with a phone number to call to register.
• Nov. 3: Bedford, Bedford County (814-445-8911)
• Dec. 5: Erie, Erie County (724-627-3745)
• Dec. 13: Bloomsburg, Columbia County (570-988-3950)
• Jan. 18, 2018: Leesport, Berks County (610-378-1327)
• Jan. 29, 2018: Hershey, Hershey Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention (717-694-3596)
• Feb. 13, 2018: Greensburg, Westmoreland County (724-837-1402)
• Feb. 13, 2018: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County (215-471-2200)
• Feb. 20, 2018: Center Valley, Lehigh County (610-391-9840)
• Feb. 28, 2018: Lancaster, Lancaster County (717-394-6851)
• March 6, 2018: University Park, Centre County (814-865-4027)
• March 8, 2018: Biglerville, Adams County (717-334-6271)
You also may register at extension.psu.edu/fsma-grower-training. The standard registration fee is $150 per person; a discounted price of $20 per person (one per farm) is available for Pennsylvania commercial growers through support from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Checks, credit cards and debit cards are accepted.
For more on the course, contact Luke LaBorde at 814-863-2298 or email at [email protected].
Source: Penn State University Extension