AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold five Produce Safety Alliance trainings during the spring of 2018 to help growers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The training sessions will be held in Indianola, Ottumwa, Cedar Rapids, Sheldon and Mason City. Cost of the training is $20 per farm or organization for Iowa growers and $120 for out of state growers. The fee includes the Produce Safety Alliance manual, a certificate of completion and lunch.
While many growers are small enough to be exempt from the full rule, taking the training shows a commitment by Iowa’s fruit and vegetable growers to produce safe food. ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff have collaborated to cover topics including agricultural water, developing a food safety plan and mitigating contamination from wild animals.
“We are excited to offer this produce safety course at a discount to farms supplying produce to Iowans,” said Angela Shaw, associate professor in food science and human nutrition and extension specialist in food safety. “Taking this food course also makes farms eligible for an on-farm, one-on-one assessment of compliance with the Produce Safety Rule.”
Four training sessions were held across Iowa in 2017, with 73 people earning certificates of completion from the Association of Food and Drug Officials. This certificate is one way to satisfy FSMA requirements that stipulate that “at least one supervisor or responsible party” from a farm must have completed the training.
This project is funded by the State and Territory Cooperative Agreement to Enhance Produce Safety in Preparation of Implementation of FDA’s Rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, through FDA grant 1U18FD005810-01 (CFDA #93.102-Food and Drug Administration Research).