DOVER, Del. — Fruit and vegetable growers who want to learn about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices, developing food safety plans and the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to attend several upcoming workshops.
On March 16 and 17, the “Delaware FSMA Produce Safety Alliance Training, Produce Food Safety Updates, and Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop” will be held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. The workshop will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Lunch will be provided and registration is free, courtesy of the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
On day one, the course will focus on the Produce Safety Alliance curriculum which is required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Participants will complete coursework on produce safety; worker health, hygiene, and training; soil amendments; wildlife, domesticated animals and land use; agricultural water; post-harvest handling and sanitation; and how to develop a farm food safety plan.
On day two, there will be updates on produce food safety research findings, additional Good Agricultural Practices and a produce food safety plan writing workshop. This second day will fulfill any GAPs requirements.
The Produce Safety Alliance curriculum satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in §122.22(c) 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.
For those unable to attend the March 16-17 workshop in Delaware, an additional Produce Safety Alliance training will be offered in collaboration with Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Departments of Agriculture and Extension on March 6 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Richard A. Henson Ballroom, Princess Anne, Md. Registration fee for March 6 is $20/person. Contact Carol Reynolds at 410-841-5769 or Carol.Reynolds@maryland.gov for more information on how to register, class size is limited.
Three workshops will be offered in Delaware for growers who sell primarily through direct market channels (farmers’ markets, farm stands, restaurant sales, CSAs), growers that require yearly training to sell at farmers’ markets and small growers who sell less than $25,000 of produce. Participants need only attend one 4-hour (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) workshop being offered and will receive a certificate from the University of Delaware that they have completed the training course. Course dates and locations for direct marketers and small growers are:
- March 11, UD Carvel Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown
- March 18, UD Paradee Center, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover
- March 26, Fischer Greenhouse, University of Delaware, Newark
— Delaware Department of Agriculture