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Produce safety training for farmers set March 3, 22

February 26, 2018

The Delaware Department of Agriculture is offering two one-day courses in March to help farmers growing fruits and vegetables comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.

"About one in six Americans gets sick each year from foodborne illness," said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. "The Food Safety Modernization Act is a proactive approach to prevent these foodborne illnesses by strengthening the food supply. These training sessions will help farmers to recognize and eliminate risks, learn how to implement different safety practices, and allow them to connect with experts on developing their farm food safety plan. We want to help Delaware farmers meet the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule so that consumers know they are purchasing the freshest, highest-quality fruits and vegetables that are safe to eat."

Fruit and vegetable growers who want to learn about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices, how to begin development on a food safety plan and the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming Delaware FSMA: Produce Safety Rule Training and Produce Safety Updates workshops.

Trainings are set from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover, and Thursday, March 22, at the University of Delaware Carvel Research & Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown.

Lunch will be provided and registration is free, courtesy of the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

To register, email Anna Wicks at anna.wicks@state.de.us or call 302-698-4582.

The course will focus on the Produce Safety Alliance curriculum which is required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. This one-day course will provide a foundation on Good Agricultural Practices, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and information on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Participants will complete coursework on produce safety; worker health, hygiene, and training; soil amendments; wildlife, domesticated animals, and land use; agricultural water; and postharvest handling and sanitation.

The Produce Safety Alliance curriculum satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement that '”at least one supervisor from the farm must complete food safety training at least equivalent to the standardized curriculum recognized by the FDA.” 

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the entire paperwork.

Funding for this training session 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 & Human Services, nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices or organization imply endorsement by the United States government.