Cornell is leading a national alliance aimed at improving the safety of fresh produce and helping fruit and vegetable growers meet new regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Based in Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, the Produce Safety Alliance has spent the past four years developing a nationwide Grower Training Curriculum. This involved creating working committees with partners across the country, hosting focus groups with farmers and working closely with the FDA to make sure the curriculum reflects expectations outlined in the regulations. Read more
PSA Hosts Final FSMA Produce Safety Rule Webinar with FDA
Dec 17, 2015
The Produce Safety Alliance hosted a webinar and moderated question and answer session with the FDA Produce Safety Staff on the final FSMA Produce Safety Rule on Thursday December 17th. Dr. Karen Killinger, FDA Staff Fellow, presented an overview of the key provisions within the new regulation. We would like to thank Dr. Killinger, as well as the Produce Safety Staff, for engaging in this informative Q&A session at the conclusion of the call. Updates were provided at the end of the meeting related to the PSA’s training programs.
To listen to the presentation, click here.
View the presentation slides here.
PSA Hosts Two Train-the-Trainer Programs
Jun 1, 2015
The PSA officially launched the PSA Train-the-Trainer Program, hosting two trainings; the first in Kalamazoo, MI attended by 54 participants and the second in Harrisburg, PA attended by 50 participants. A special thank you to our collaborators at Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Michigan State University Extension, Great Lakes Conference on Food Protection, Penn State Extension, and the Pennsylvania Food Safety Resource Center for all of their help in organizing and making these first two trainings a success. We received lots constructive and positive feedback from the first cadre of trainers to help us as we continually improve the course.
PSA Hosts Pilot Grower Training in Hershey, PA
Jan 26, 2015
With the help of Penn State University, the Produce Safety Alliance hosted a pilot training for fresh fruit and vegetable growers at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania. A total of thirty-three growers attended and provided useful feedback on the curriculum’s content and educational materials. The proposed PSA Grower Training will satisfy the FDA proposed Produce Safety Rule requirement that “at least one supervisor or responsible party from the farm to successfully complete food safety training at least equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration [§ 112.22(c)].” The PSA Grower Training is a one day program, with seven curriculum modules including: An Introduction to Produce Safety; Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training; Soil Amendments; Wildlife, Domestic Animals, and Land Use; Agricultural Water; Postharvest Handling and Sanitation; and How to Write a Farm Food Safety Plan. The curriculum has been designed to teach growers how to assess food safety risks on the farm, implement practices to reduce risks, and understand the proposed FDA Produce Safety Rule requirements. The curriculum places an emphasis on small and very-small growers, providing solutions for limited resource farms, but is not to the exclusion any farm. For information on how the curriculum was developed, please visit our website to see the PSA Education and Training Materials Conference Proceedings, the Working Committee Summaries, and the Farmer Focus Group Summary.
PSA Hosts Pilot Train-the-Trainer in Geneva, NY
Dec 18, 2014
Thirty-eight individuals ranging from produce growers, academics, regulators, and produce industry members convened at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY to evaluate the PSA’s proposed Train-the-Trainer program, curriculum materials, and trainer certification process. We cannot thank these individuals enough for their time, effort, and constructive feedback throughout the two day pilot in effort to better refine the final program for national launch. The feedback we received was very positive and we have been working to streamline the curriculum’s slide sets and teaching notes per our reviewer suggestions. The Train-the-Trainer program will be two days of classroom instruction. The PSA will continue discussions related to trainer qualifications and the certification process, so stay tuned for more details regarding how to become a trainer as well as dates and locations of Train-the-Trainer Programs. To date, the PSA does not have any Train-the-Trainer workshops scheduled, but we will send out updates through our general listserve as soon as they become available.
PSA Webinar on the Proposed Produce Rule Supplemental
Oct 23, 2014
The Produce Safety Alliance hosted a one hour webinar and teleconference with the FDA Produce Safety Staff to discuss the proposed Produce Safety Rule Supplemental which was released for comment on September 29th, 2014. Dr. Michael Mahovic, Consumer Safety Officer with the Produce Safety Staff gave an informative presentation on the changes made to the original proposed rule which was followed by a Q & A session. Revisions to the proposed Produce Safety Rule include changes to the water quality standards and testing, raw manure and compost standards, definition of a ‘covered’ farm, clarified procedures for withdrawing the qualified exemption, and clarified provisions on wildlife. The comment period will close on December 15, 2014.
Produce Safety Alliance Hosted Teleconference and Q & A Session
Jul 7, 2014
Operational Strategy for Implementing the FDA
Food Safety Modernization Act Call-in Information: Dial toll-free: 866-939-3921 Conference ID: 6929468 Date: Monday, July 7th, 2014 Time: 2-3 PM EDT Fee: No charge Registration: Open to all.
*Please dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the conference so that the operator can take your name and place you into the conference room. Presented by: Ms. Kathy Gombas, FSMA Change Management Lead, FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Click here for the presentation slide set. This meeting is a teleconference only. These slides have been provided should you want to follow along with visuals.
Q&A with FDA staff members will follow the presentation. The operator will provide instructions for how to participate in the question and answer portion during the call. For more information on the Operational Strategy for Implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, visit the complete document here.