MADISON — Food safety trainings for produce growers will be held in 6 locations around the state in January and February. The classes will be taught by University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension in collaboration with Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requires people who grow, harvest, pack or sell about $27,577 or more in produce (per year averaged over three years) to meet produce safety rules, including attending produce safety training. If a grower is above the threshold, there are a few exemptions that may limit your responsibilities. If you are not sure of your responsibilities under the law, call your local Extension office or go to this website: https://fsmaproducesafety.wisc.edu/ .
The FSMA is a federal law using science-based standards to reduce the potential for fresh produce contamination that may lead to illnesses and death. The focus is to prevent food safety issues rather than react to outbreaks.
Food safety is an important issue for every farm. Contamination by food borne pathogens can make your customers ill and could have devastating impacts for farm businesses. Proper harvesting and handling techniques will minimize the risk of contamination and increase the shelf life and marketability of products.
If required to by the Rule, growers must attend an FDA-approved produce safety training. Participants only need to attend one training and will receive a certificate confirming completion of the course. Trainings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
Jan. 14, 2020: Black River Falls
Jan. 17, 2020: Whitewater
Jan. 26, 2020: Wisconsin Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference (pre-conference), Wisconsin Dells
Feb. 11, 2020: Kimberly
Feb. 21, 2020: Dalton
Feb. 25, 2020: West Bend
To register go to https://fsmaproducesafety.wiscweb.wisc.edu. Language interpretation services are available upon request but must be made 15 business days in advance of the training date. As this is a federal certification, equivalent courses in other states also fulfill this requirement.
If you have questions about your status under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, or would like advice on practices that promote produce safety, please contact your local UW-Madison Extension county office. The county Extension office will be able to connect you to an Extension educator who can assist you.
— UW-Madison Division of Extension
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