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Produce Safety Educators Call #38 May 20, 2019 2 PM Eastern

Total Attendees: 68 
Audio recording 
Presenters: Chris Callahan, Associate Extension Professor - Agricultural Engineering, University of Vermont; Director of the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS) 
Topic: Building a One-way Street: Backflow Prevention Strategies for Produce Farms 

I. Meeting Notes: 

A summary of this presentation is available at: 

II. Resources Shared:

III. Questions & Discussion 

  • Question: Is there a requirement of the size /distance of air gap to floor drain/sink? Or does that come from codes? 
  • Response: Comes from National code, some local codes make it more specific or stringent.  Refer to local code. 
  • Question: Do you know of example SOP’s available online? 
  • Response: Not aware of any currently, but we can consider drafting one.  
  • Question: Are you aware of any backflow factsheets? Could be useful tool during OFRR to help explain if grower is unfamiliar. 
  • Response: Chris is working on one; stay tuned! 
  • Question: Looking at your illustrated example with three pipes, would the recommendation be that there are three back-flow devices (one device per pipe)? 
  • Response: A dedicate drain for each, or at least a separate one for the greens washing sink would be the best practice in this instance.  
  • Question: Do backflow devices look much different when installed in large-gauge pump systems on huge farms? 
  • Response: Yes, they do get quite a bit different depending on scale.  It’ll be clear from the design, but the shape may be different (may be a “Y” form for inspection and adjustment). 
  • Question: I'd be interested in hearing how much detail (or not) you go into with a grower during an OFRR.  Are you examining their valves? Are there certain key questions you're asking? 
  • Response: Think of backflow prevention against the context of overall farm risk.  Sometimes it’s not a prioritized need, but other times (when the plumbing set up is unknown) it may be a priority to look at further.  

IV. Wrap Up 

PSA will be hosting a special session at the annual International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Meeting in Louisville, KY on July 22 from 5:30-7 PM. We hope to see you there! 

The session will provide an update on the PSA’s training progress, review key FSMA PSR updates for educators, present FDA’s current commitment to produce safety education and outreach, and discuss challenges faced by State Produce implementation Cooperative Agreement Programs in working towards produce safety education and PSR implementation. The special session will conclude with PSA plans for the future. 

Next Call: 

PSA Updates 
Including new info on Version 1.2 of the PSA curriculum manuals and other updates.  
Date & Time: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 2 PM Eastern 
Log-in Information: 
No registration is necessary. The call will be recorded and posted on our website after the meeting. 

Zoom webinar: 

Dial toll free: 877-853-5247 
Meeting ID: 373 219 089 

Submit suggestions/topics/speaker suggestions to Gretchen (, 607-882-3087).  
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