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Produce Safety Alliance Educators Call #33 July 31, 2018 2-3 PM EDT

Total Attendees: 85
View webinar recording
Topic: On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) Program & Toolkit
Presenter: Dr. Michelle Danyluk, University of Florida; Mr. Bob Ehart, NASDA

Call Notes

  • Introductions – Dr. Kristin Woods, PSA Southeast Extension Associate
  • Dr. Michelle Danyluk – Overview of the On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) Program & Toolkit
    • For presentation and details, see slides 4-39
  • Mr. Bob Ehart – Additional comments
    • Assessors need to understand the Produce Safety Rule intimately in order to do an OFRR
    • Must be comfortable with the walk around tool (WAQ)
    • Many states are focusing on practice sessions at University research stations, or pursuing mentoring opportunities
    • Application of the Rule to farms is challenging since every farm is different. An OFRR can be conducted on any size farm, but we will need to continue to understand how the Rule will apply in each scenario.
    • States which had not previously been involved (HI, KY, MS) received grants recently so will join the group. Two exceptions, state ag department (AK) and state health department (IN) will be involved.
    • Lots of moving parts, excited about program, and release of new manuals.
       

Questions

Q: Can an individual purchase a manual without attending an OFRR course?
A: NASDA is not currently set up to sell to individuals – distribution is set up through State Departments of Agriculture.

Q: CFSAN members in Hawaii are eager to do OFRRs, but Extension has not been trained yet. What would happen if FDA would see an egregious condition while conducting an OFRR in HI?
A: Its FDA’s Rule, so if they think it is an egregious condition, that’s their call. Some of the compliance dates for small and medium sized farms have not kicked in yet.

Q: What features will the new website have?
A: We will link to each state’s contacts, how to register for courses, and information about trainings. It will also house OFRR resources.

Q: In the future, would there possibly be an app for the WAQ so that you can jump to applicable questions rather than experience the redundancy?
A: At this point, not an immediate likelihood. Young farmers have talked to Bob about this and management of records, but we are still early on in development. It would be a fascinatingly useful tool to have. Not likely this year.

Q: Will OFRRs continue after states begin inspections in January?
A: Yes. The Rule does not kick in for some for a couple more years. We’re seeing farmers choose not to grow covered crops until they see how the regulation works. There will be amble opportunity in the future to attend an OFRR.

Q: Will the OFRR curriculum develop into some kind of self-assessment option?
A: Potentially. We started out with that being an element. We have found, however, that asking questions in a checklist format limits real risk assessment and understanding of the Rule. Depends on the results from evaluations, inspections, and to see if there are portions where it would be a possibility that checklists would be useful. Tool and WAQ is not a checklist. The Rule is complicated and a simple yes/no response is not going to foster this knowledge.

Q: Do you see harm in farm organizations offering a more informal OFRR?
A: NASDA has no problem with it, but the trouble is convincing FDA to continue to train people. FDA is pushing more instructional inspection courses. Attending an FDA course makes more sense if they have attended an OFRR course first.

Q: Do you have any recommendations how to prioritize who gets an OFRR first?
A: It may be determined by the number of farms the state thinks it needs to get to. It should not be limited to just big farms or those who are not exempt. Some farms are trying to determine whether to grow their businesses.

Q: For those states that did not receive FDA CAP funding, what do you predict for their future?
A: ND, SD, WY, IL – high level at FDA wants to convince them to join. NASDA has had open conversations ongoing with all 4 states. Resources are going to be a challenge for some states.

Q: Extension is being limited by our travel funding. Is there any potential for funding for OFRRs for extension?
A: FSMA related activities have to go through state’s lead agency. Some states are willing, other states don’t have a formalized relationship. Program is stronger when extension and state departments are involved.

Comment: There will be an OFRR training in New Jersey the week of Sept. 24th. Contact NASDA for more details.

Next Meeting – September 2018, TBD
Topic: TBD
Guest Speakers: TBD
Log-in Information: Will send info in August to listserv and post on website.