JACKSON, Mich. — Growers who have already attended a FSMA Produce Safety Training have an idea of what the Produce Safety Rule is all about, but many find it challenging to apply what they learned to practices on their own farms. To support growers through this challenge, Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Produce Safety Technicians have teamed up to provide growers with a free and confidential produce safety consultation called an On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR).
An OFRR provides a fresh produce grower the opportunity to walk through their operation alongside members of the OFRR team, to see what things they’re doing right (in relation to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule), as well as what they could improve. This low stress walk-through also helps a grower gauge how ready they are for a Produce Safety Inspection with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Growers sometimes feel they need to have things “perfect” before they schedule an OFRR, but that is not necessary! An On-Farm Readiness Review is meant to help growers focus their efforts on the things the law requires and then identify other best food safety practices that are important, but not requisite.
Another piece of good news is that an OFRR is free and confidential and focused on finding solutions! Michigan growers do not need to tackle produce safety alone; the Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety (MIOFPS) team is here to help!
To register for an On-Farm Readiness Review simply fill out this short survey and a member of the MIOFPS team will be in touch!
P.S. Although not required, attending a FSMA Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training prior to completing an On-Farm Readiness Review is highly recommended. These 8-hour courses are offered online by both The Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team and The Produce Safety Alliance. This training course provides growers with a copy of the FSMA Produce Safety laws and introduces key concepts that the Produce Safety Rule regulates. For those growers who must comply with these laws, this training also fulfills the education requirement outlined in sub section 112.22(c) which requires that “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.”
— Heather Borden, Produce Safety Logistics Coordinator, Michigan State University Extension
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