In addition to establishing minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption, the FSMA Produce Safety Rule also requires covered growers to receive training in an FDA-approved curriculum, regardless of previous training.
“Purdue Extension uses the Produce Safety Alliance training curriculum, the only curriculum currently recognized by the FDA, and covers best practices applicable to growers of all sizes,” says Amanda Deering, trainer and clinical assistant professor in Purdue’s Department of Food Science. “All produce growers are encouraged to attend this training to help ensure that they are aware of food safety risks and how they should be managed on their farms,” she continued.
According to Scott Monroe, food safety educator, Purdue Extension has worked hard to assist produce growers with implementation of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. “Our team currently consists of eight trainers, three of whom are certified lead trainers, located across Indiana” he said.
The daylong training covers topics such as worker health and hygiene, soil amendments, management of wildlife and domesticated animals, land use, water use, postharvest handling, and how to develop a farm food safety plan.
Cost of the training is $100 for in-state residents and $155 for out-of-state residents. The cost includes training materials (to be mailed to participants after registration), certification, and lunch. Upon completion of training and required documentation, growers will receive a certification from the Association of Food and Drug Officials in a separate mailing.
Future training sessions include:
- Jan.12: Floyd County.
- Feb. 6: Allen County.
- Feb. 15: Marion County (Indiana Horticultural Congress).
- March 1: Hendricks County (Purdue Small Farms Conference).
- March 15: Switzerland County.
- April 2: Vigo County.
- April 3: Parke County.
- April 5: Wayne County.