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Produce Safety Alliance grower training scheduled for 2018-19

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management of natural resources and food safety should make plans to attend an upcoming Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course. This course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in §112.22(c) that requires “At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.”

What to expect at training

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules: Introduction to Produce Safety; Worker Health, Hygiene and Training; Soil Amendments; Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use; Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water); Postharvest Handling and Sanitation and How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Benefits of attending the course

The course will provide a foundation of GAPs and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of: microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm; how to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm; parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one and requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

Costs to attend

Cost is $20 for Iowa growers and $120 for out of state growers. (Two growers from the same farm/company can attend for $20, if they are willing to share a binder.)

Cost includes PSA manual, certificate of completion and lunch.

Additional information

To register and pay with a credit card, go to the Safe Produce website at and click on the preferred training. To register and pay by check, email or call 515-294-6773, and a paper registration form will be sent to you.

Iowa State Extension and Outreach faculty and specialists will lead the class.

A basic understanding of GAPs is recommended prior to attending the class. See the registration website for suggested materials to review before class.

For more information about PSA Grower Training Courses, visit the PSA website at

2018-19 course schedule

Nov. 8 – Grinnell

Nov. 27 – Peosta

Dec. 11 – Guthrie Center

Jan. 24 – Waterloo

Jan. 30 – Bettendorf

Feb. 5 – Nevada

Feb. 28 – Leon

Mar. 7 – Burlington

Mar. 12 – Algona

This project is funded by the State and Territory Cooperative Agreement to Enhance Produce Safety in Preparation of Implementation of FDA’s Rule: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, through FDA grant 1U18FD005810-01 (CFDA #93.102-Food and Drug Administration Research).

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