The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has contracted with Safe Food Alliance to host 25 Produce Safety Training classes between January and June of 2018. The contract covers central and southern California counties beginning at Madera, Fresno, San Benito and Monterey counties along the north, to the border counties of San Diego and Imperial along the south.
CDFA received $450,000 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to provide farmers with affordable access to food safety training courses which meet the requirements under the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety rule for growers, whose first compliance dates are January of 2018.
The Safe Food Alliance offers technical food safety services to assist growers, packers, processors, and manufacturers in meeting customer and regulatory requirements by understanding and applying recognized best practices for food safety and quality control management. Safe Food Alliance has approved trainers who are able to conduct the classes on behalf of the Produce Safety Alliance. The food safety team includes four Produce Safety Lead Trainers and four Produce Safety trainers, making them the largest Produce Safety training facility in California.
Safe Food Alliance conducted 17 Produce Safety trainings for 662 growers in 2017, including 250 walnut growers as part of a partnership with the California Walnut Board. Safe Food Alliance will be partnering with the California Walnut Board to host six trainings in the spring of 2018 to train 500 additional walnut growers.
Over 50,000 produce farms in California are expected to be covered under the Produce Safety Rule, one of several sections of the new FSMA law. As part of this Rule, these 50,000 farms must employ at least one individual who has completed a food safety training course which meets requirements laid out in the new regulation.
Attendees of this course are eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) which verifies that they have completed the recognized training course. Along with the standard curriculum, Safe Food Alliance will provide additional resources to attendees such as materials to help determine how the regulation applies to their farm; templates for creating required records; a calculation tool to determine if a small farm is exempt; a list of allowable water treatment compounds; and tools for conducting water analysis calculations.
For more information about scheduled Produce Safety Grower Training Courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. More FSMA resources are available at https://safefoodalliance.com/resources/food-safety-resources/what-is-fsma/.