Produce Safety/GAP Education

 

Produce has risen to the top of the list of food commodities associated with foodborne illness. As a result, programs have arisen to encourage fruit and vegetable farmers to adopt safe production, harvest and post-harvest practices.

For information about Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), GAP audits, the Produce Safety Rule or general information about produce safety, go to Food Safety in Connecticut for Farmers and Growers. 

To be placed on the Produce Safety Email list, contact indu.upadhyaya@uconn.edu.

 

2020 FSMA Produce Safety Rule/Produce Safety Alliance
Approved Grower Training Courses

Two PSA Grower Training Courses are presently scheduled for late winter 2020. Registration is first come, first served, so please register early, no matter which course you plan to attend.

February 26, and 27; February 28, Snow Date
8:30 am through 3:30 pm
Middlesex County Extension Center
1066 Saybrook Road
Haddam, Connecticut 06438

Registration Deadline Friday, February 14
Space is limited to 30 participants.

 

March 18 and 19; March 20, Snow Date
8:30 am through 3:30 pm
Hartford County Extension Center
Exchange Building - Suite 262, Building 4
270 Farmington Ave
Farmington, CT, 06032

Registration Deadline Friday, March 6
Space is limited to 30 participants.

 

REGISTRATION: Course fees are $50. The preferred method of registration/payment is through the CAHNR Conferences site, paying with a credit card. Please include both a work and cell/home phone number and regularly used email address in case of emergency or cancellation.

ONLINE REGISTRATION is PREFERRED.

Please go or to http://www.cahnrconference.uconn.edu/ to register. VISA and MasterCard are accepted.

If you choose to register by mail (not preferred) please download a PDF version of the registration.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training Course has been designed to provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices knowledge that includes emphasis on co-management of food safety and environmental management goals, while outlining the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘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.’

In order to obtain a certificate that provides evidence of compliance with the training requirements of the rule, you must be present for the entire two-day course, so do not make plans for the snow date!

 

 

 

GAP

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit programs are non-regulatory programs that may be required by a produce buyer, including distributors, school systems, institutions, government agencies who purchase food or larger retail operations. GAP audits are conducted by USDA and by private auditing firms. Generally, the programs require farmers to attend a training program and to develop and implement a food safety plan which is used as a basis for the audit.

University of Connecticut Extension offers training programs to help farmers learn about Good Agricultural Practices and to develop and implement food safety plans.

FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule was implemented in 2016. This Rule requires farmers that are not exempt from the Rule to attend an approved training program. The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) developed an approved course. University of Connecticut Extension offers the PSA course, using approved lead trainers.

Farmers who may be exempt from the Produce Safety Rule and who do not sell to customers requiring a GAP audit are still encouraged to attend a produce safety training course. Any outbreak tied to a fruit or vegetable farm in Connecticut can have negative consequences for both the individual farmer and the industry as a whole.