Produce Safety Alliance Training Update - January 26, 2016
A major objective for the Produce Safety Alliance is to develop a standardized produce safety curriculum that meets regulatory requirements outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule. Since 2011, the PSA has facilitated 72 meetings of ten national working committees, conducted 8 regional grower focus groups, and hosted four pilot trainings, as well as incorporating reviews and edits from growers, academic collaborators, regulatory officials, and industry members to develop the content for the PSA’s curriculum. Initial development of the curriculum used the proposed Produce Safety Rule as guidance until the final regulatory language was made available. On November 27, 2015, the final Produce Safety Rule was published in the Federal Register. While the proposed and final versions of the regulation are similar, there is some new information as well as nuances that must be navigated including the differences between what are Good Agricultural Practices (“shoulds”) versus what are required practices for the regulation (“musts”). To ensure the accuracy and alignment of the curriculum with the regulation, the PSA has engaged with the FDA’s Division of Produce Safety to conduct a detailed review of all the curriculum modules with the final regulatory language incorporated. Due to the extent and in-depth nature of this editing process, there have been significant delays in finalizing the curriculum materials.
On January 13th, the PSA Executive Committee made the difficult decision to delay the PSA’s training program launch until September 2016 in effort to accommodate this revision process, the printing of materials, and provide certainty to the availability of training programs and materials to our collaborators.
We will continue to provide updates through our general listserv and website as soon as the editing process is finished. We appreciate the patience of growers, our collaborators, and participants in the PSA’s 2015 Train-the-Trainer and Grower Courses as we work through this delay. We also appreciate the FDA’s Division of Produce Safety staff for engaging in a process which will result in a streamlined and accurate training program that incorporates both Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and regulatory requirements.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For more information about the PSA’s future training programs, visit our Train-the-Trainer and Grower Training Course pages.