To help growers prepare for Produce Safety inspections, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Clemson Extension have been offering Produce Safety Alliance training courses around the state. Since the PSA Grower Training Course is a requirement of the Produce Safety Rule, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture has been looking for ways to lower the cost for our farmers. We were able to come to a solution and are now able to offer the course at a lower price point. The initial price just covered the materials at cost, but now we are able to relieve some of that expense for our growers.
Who Should Attend
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. 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.’
What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course
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.
**Snacks and Lunch will be provided. Please note of any food allergies or preferences.**
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. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to 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.
After attending the entire course, participants 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.
For more information about scheduled PSA Grower Training Courses, please visit the PSA website at http://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu.
For questions, please contact Brooke Horton, SCDA Produce Safety Outreach Coordinator at (803) 351-1244 or Bhorton@scda.sc.gov or Chad Carter, Clemson Extension Produce Safety Grower Training Coordinator at (843)730-5211 or email@example.com.
**Funding for this statement, publication, press release, etc. was made possible in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States.**
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