Back to top

Produce Safety Alliance Educators Call #26 August 29, 2017 2-3 PM EDT

Total Attendance: 80
View webinar recording

Summary of Session

This month’s meeting focused on announcements from the PSA including introduction of new team member, Dr. Connie Fisk, as well as updates on training numbers and resources. During the second half of the meeting, PSA Director, Betsy Bihn, discussed how to address challenges during PSA Grower Trainings with regards to the agricultural water requirements.

August 29, 2017 Meeting Notes

If you have additional questions about the meeting or additions to the meeting notes, please contact Gretchen Wall (, 607-882-3087).

I. Produce Safety Alliance Updates

  • Introductions: New PSA Team Member
    • Connie Fisk, Ph.D.
    • Northwest Extension Associate
    • Based in Plattsmouth, NE
    • E-mail:
    • Phone: TBD* (Contact info will be updated on the website as soon as it is confirmed)
  • PSA by the Numbers
  • International Efforts
    • PSA collaborating with the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) to conduct international trainings
    • Announcement coming soon about the Produce International Partnership (PIP)
    • Help identify international training needs and adapt resources for culturally diverse audiences
    • First international TTT conducted last week in Kingston, Jamaica; several others scheduled between October-December
  • PSA Materials Update
    • Currently working on
      Version 2.0 of PSA curriculum
    • Updates include:
      • Correction of typos
      • Clarification of PSR requirements or section symbols
      • New resources & references
    • No date set yet, but hoping to make new version available in time for winter grower trainings
    • Materials now available in English (3-hold punched) & Spanish (bound)
    • Bookstore Link
  • Trainer Feedback
    • PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses
      • Are there TTT needs we haven’t identified?
    • Building Trainer Capacity
    • Trainer Comments:
      • Rob Machado (ME): ME had 2 PSA trainings already! If there is ever a need for translations (or delivery) of the material to Portuguese. I can help with that.
      • Laura Strawn (VA): Virginia trained in WV and NC - we have over 10 trainers, 2 lead trainers. we are feeling good. hosted 6+ grower trainings, etc.
      • Londa Nwadike (KS/MO): Upcoming MO and KS trainings
      • Chip Simmons (NC): We will be offering a series of 17 PSA Grower trainings in NC from Oct, 2017 through March, 2018.
        We will also be offering a PSA Train-the Trainer Workshop in NC on Oct 4-5, 2017 - info on the PSA TTT
      • Annalisa Hultberg (IA): IA is hosting 10 in 2017 and 10 in 2018 (if not more!!)

II. Addressing Training Challenges: Agricultural Water Requirements

  • Background
  • Industry Efforts
    • Center for Produce Safety held an Agricultural Water Testing Methods Colloquium in April 2017
      • Input from academic and industry SMEs
      • Federal agencies as technical advisors
      • Results published as a white paper
      • Primary recommendation to allow a broad suite of EPA-accepted analysis methods, in addition to Method 1603
    • Food Safety magazine published Fixing FSMA’s Ag Water Requirements in Aug/Sept 2017
      • Written by Jennifer McEntire (United Fresh) and Jim Gorny (PMA)
      • Description of current water quality requirements in the Produce Safety Rule with an analysis of problems
      • Recommendation to re-evaluate
  • Training Recommendations
    • FDA has indicated they may revisit compliance dates in Subpart E of the Produce Safety Rule
    • Changes could be made to expectations for water testing
      • The MWQP system could be altered
      • Sampling frequency, location and timing
      • GM/STV limits related to untreated ground water and untreated surface water
      • Other E. coli test methods could be explicitly accepted for regulatory monitoring
    • The real answer is that we have no idea what is coming. The best approach is to share the information from FDA through announcements they have made AND avoid making any assumptions.
    • Trainers may want to remind participants about the June 6, 2017 FDA announcement about their intention to extend compliance dates for water.
    • In the meantime, it is still valuable to teach growers that knowing the quality of agricultural water will help manage risks to produce safety.
    • “Growers should not stop testing their water because of questions about what method is outlined in the PSR, especially if testing is required as part of a third party audit the growers may need to satisfy buyer requirements.”*
    • *See PSA’s The Water Analysis Method Requirement in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, March 2017, for more information
    • Trainers should tell participants that changes may be coming, and to pay attention to resources, including FDA and PSA websites, for updated information
    • Be careful to not make recommendations about changes growers should make without further information
    • Trainers and Growers will need updated
      • All trainers and growers will need updated once new information is available
      • New info may not all come at the same time!
      • May require making changes over time as information is available
      • PSA will conduct webinars and develop additional educational materials for trainers to make sure everyone knows about new information

III. Next Meeting: Tentative Monday October 2, 2017 – 2 PM EDT

  • Send additional items or topics for discussion to Gretchen at
  • Call in information will be sent closer to the date of the meeting