Four new online training modules are being offered through Iowa State University Extension to provide science-based information on food safety liability risks at farmers markets. The Farmers Market Food Safety Training course gives vendors who sell their produce and food at farmers markets, and the managers of farmers markets, training on good agricultural practices for safe food production and handling. The training is specific to farmers markets, with a focus on specialty foods.
"It is critical for Iowa producers to educate themselves about safe food practices. That's why on-farm and at-the-market food safety training programs for farmers and market managers have been established by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach," says Angela Shaw, professor in food safety and program specialist with ISU Extension.
Good reasons why producers should take this free training
"One reason producers should invest time taking this free online training is to demonstrate their commitment to their customers," says Shaw. "With the number of farmers markets and local food groups in Iowa continuing to grow, making food safe is more important than ever. Farmers market managers and producers can learn at their own pace conveniently, any time or day in the comforts of their home office."
The new webinar series offers knowledge about farm-to-fork food safety and offers participants a certificate of completion suitable to display at their vendor's booth or market stall. The food safety training is available in four online video modules including preharvest, postharvest, marketing and best practices at the market, and value added products.
This isn't a substitute for full length "good ag practices" course
To register for one or all modules in the Farmers Market Food Safety webinar series, or for more information, go to safeproduce.cals.iastate.edu/training/. Note: This course is not a substitute for the full eight-hour good agricultural practices course that is recommended for farmers serving multiple venues and farmers market managers.
The Farmers Market Food Safety Training materials were funded by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.