Safe Food Alliance Prepares to Offer FSMA Grower Training

Since the inception of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in January 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been hard at work developing regulations that have already had a huge impact on the food industry worldwide. Fast forward six years and the roll-out of these regulations has begun. Regulations have now been published for Human Food Manufacturers (Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food), Animal Food Manufacturers (Preventive Controls Rule for Animal Food), Foreign Suppliers and Importers (Foreign Supplier Verification Rule), Distribution & Transport (Sanitary Transportation Rule) and Farming Operations (Produce Safety Rule).

As we now know, FSMA has impacted all businesses operating along the food supply chain, going back to the source of primary food (produce) grown and harvested on the farm. The Produce Safety Rule was published in November 2015 and included compliance dates for farms depending on sales of non-exempt produce beginning 2, 3 and 4 years after the published date. This means that the largest farms (harvesting >$500,000 of produce per year), will be required to be compliant by January 2018. Some of the provisions contained within the rule include Worker Health & Hygiene, Soil Amendments, Wildlife & Domestic Animal management, Agricultural Water Quality, and Standardized Training, among others.

Safe Food Alliance has prepared to help partner with the industry to offer the required Standardized Produce Safety Rule Grower Training since the release of the Train-the-Trainer courses, which began in November 2016. We now have eight food safety staff members that have completed the Train-the-Trainer course poised to deliver classes.

So who should attend?

Any growers, farm owners, farm managers/supervisors, farm contract labor providers and others that are interested in learning about produce safety & food safety practices, the FSMA-Produce Safety Rule, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). The standardized training curriculum has been developed by the Produce Safety Alliance in cooperation with Cornell University, and is 8-hours (1-day) in length. This training is one way for farms to satisfy the requirements stated in the Produce Sale Rule as outlined in subsection 112.22(c), which 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”.

Safe Food Alliance will begin offering the Grower Training this spring, in partnership with the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF), Farm Employers Labor Service (FELS) and the California Walnut Board. Additional training courses for farms will continue to be offered throughout the years to come, so get ahead of the curve, increase your farm’s knowledge in food safety practices and protect your farm by becoming fully compliant with regulations. Doing so will help prepare your farm for buyer food safety requirements, requests and demonstrate a culture of practical food safety practices on the farm. Rest assured that our team at Safe Food Alliance is here to be your partner in navigating food safety regulations and safe food practices for years to come.

Our currently-schedule Produce Safety trainings can be found here.