On-Farm Produce Safety
Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased in the U.S. in recent years, but this has also been accompanied by an increase in produce-associated food borne disease outbreaks. Produce such as cantaloupe has been associated with people getting sick and even dying from Salmonella and Listeria and other products such as lettuce have been associated with people getting sick from E. Coli. More information on these outbreaks and others is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since many types of produce are not cooked before eating, it is essential that produce growers and all those handling produce along the chain to the consumer use the safest practices possible to ensure the safety of their produce.
In response to this growing number of produce-related food safety outbreaks, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011, with a goal of preventing contamination in the U.S. food supply instead of responding to contamination issues. Produce safety is one of the key focus areas of FSMA, with the final produce safety rules released in November 2015. This website was developed to provide information and resources for produce growers in Kansas and Missouri to improve the safety of the fruits and vegetables they grow, as well as to meet the requirements of FSMA and third-party audits such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).
GAPs Certification Training Workshops
K-State Research & Extension will provide GAPs certification training and food safety plan development assistance in upcoming one-day workshops scheduled for December 2017- February 2018. All three workshops will have the same content, so you can pick the one that works best in your schedule. This training should help your farm successfully complete a USDA Harmonized GAPs audit and will assist you in creating a food safety plan. The workshop will be taught by Cal Jamerson, KSU Produce Safety Extension Associate who has extensive first hand experience getting his family farm USDA GAP certified 4 times. Cal will be providing his food safety plan and logbooks that have been passing USDA GAP audits. You will be able to customize his plan to your operation, allowing you to create an audit-ready food safety plan. The morning session will review the GAP audit process (costs, who to contact, what to expect), with the remainder of the day spent creating your food safety plan. If you own a laptop please feel free to bring it along to aid in writing the Food Safety plan.
The cost for each participant will be $15, which includes refreshments and lunch. Please note that this workshop will not meet the training requirements of the FDA-regulated Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.
See registration details in the right column of this website.
This training is being offered at a low cost to you as it is generously supported by the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
Kansas State University (KSU), University of Missouri (MU), and Lincoln University (LU) Extension are looking for volunteers to allow KSU to conduct on-farm produce safety assessment on their farm, both before and after a training workshop. This assessment is part of a training research project and the results of your assessment will NOT be shared with regulatory bodies or any other entity, but will only be used to help improve the effectiveness of our produce safety trainings.
Our thanks to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, as well as USDA NIFA, and the K-State Center for Engagement and Community Development Incentive Grant for their support of this produce safety work.