November 7-8, Overton

US (TX): Integrated produce safety course at Texas A&M

A Produce Safety Alliance integrated grower and train-the-trainer course will be held Nov. 7-8 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1710 Farm-to-Market Road 3053 N. in Overton.

Cost is $150 for Day 1 of the two-day course or $200 for both days. It includes Product Safety Alliance educational materials for trainers and a certificate of attendance issued by the Association of Food and Drug Officials. Breakfast and lunch are provided both days.

Day 1 is designed as the Product Safety Alliance Grower Training Course for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m.

Day 2 includes course materials and training for anyone interested in becoming a certified PSA trainer. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

The course is limited to 50 individuals. Registration and payment is due by Oct. 28.

Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable specialist, Overton, recommends produce growers and anyone interested in becoming a PSA trainer attend the integrated course. Masabni said the course is important for any grower who plans to provide produce to grocers who require produce safety and handling certifications, or who want to learn best safety and handling practices and updated Food Safety Modernization Act rules.

β€œI think Day 1 is important for any grower who hopes to expand their market,” he said. β€œAnd Day 2 is important for growers, food safety inspectors, and industry and government employees working with food safety who want to be able to train others. The course provides good produce handling and agriculture practices.”

Individuals are expected to have basic knowledge in four competency areas, including produce safety scientific knowledge and experience, fruit and vegetable production knowledge, effective training delivery, and basic knowledge of the FSMA produce safety rule, Masabni said.

The course is a cooperative effort by AgriLife Extension, the Produce Safety Alliance, the Louisiana State University Ag Center and the Southern University Ag Center.

Click here for more information about the event.

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