Produce safety meetings to begin in fall

     Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host 11 Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training meetings from October 2018 through March 2019.

     The training sessions are for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. Each class will be led by ISU Extension and Outreach specialists.

     The session closest to Monticello will be Nov. 27 at Northeast Iowa Community College, Conference Center 1, in Peosta. A list of additional sessions can be found at    

     This course satisfies 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.”

     A full list of dates, times and locations can be found through the Iowa State Safe Produce Website.

What to expect

     The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:

     • Introduction to Produce Safety.

     • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training.

     • Soil Amendments.

     • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use.

     • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water).

     • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation.

     • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.

     In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Benefits of attending the course

     The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan.

     Attending the course should help individuals gain a basic understanding of:

     • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm.

     • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm.

     • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one.

     • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

     Attendees will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

Costs to attend

     The cost for the workshops is $20 for Iowa residents and $120 for out-of-state growers. Two growers from the same farm or company can attend for $20, if they are willing to share a binder. Cost includes PSA manual, certificate of completion and lunch.


     To register and pay with a credit card, go to the Safe Produce website, and click on the preferred training. To register and pay by check, email or call 515-294-6773, and a paper registration form will be sent to you.



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