UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County

UC Garden Blogs

Get required produce safety training from UC

The food production environment introduces many potential points of contamination risk from the soil to the table. Consumer demand for food safety practices along with new government regulations for fresh produce have raised grower awareness of the need for best practices to reduce microbial risks during the production and processing of nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Produce Safety Courses Available in Northern California

Produce safety training courses offered through the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) are informing the farming community about Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) to reduce microbial risks and meet Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirements. The FSMA Produce Safety Rule requires vegetable, nut, and fruit growers, to have at least one supervisor or responsible party on the produce farm who has successfully completed food safety training. The training courses are offered in English and Spanish and run through June 2019.

Donna Pahl, UCCE, dons a poop emoji hat during table top exercise emphasizing the need for pre-harvest inspection of animal feces.

What to expect

The Produce Safety Alliance team at Cornell University developed the curriculum for the PSA Grower Training Courses working together with many growers, researchers, extension educators, produce industry members, and state and federal regulatory personnel.

Trainers, such as lead trainer David Goldenberg, food safety and security training coordinator at WIFSS, provide approximately seven hours of instruction time, which includes table top exercises and question and discussion time.

Topics include:

  • An introduction to produce safety
  • Worker health, hygiene, and training
  • Soil amendments
  • Wildlife, domesticated animals and land use
  • Agricultural water, production water and post-harvest water
  • Post harvest handling and sanitation, and how to develop a farm food safety plan
Goldenberg (back row 3rd from left), Gazula (front row green sweater), Cromwell (front row far right), and Pahl (front row 2nd from left), pose for photo with participants from the opening PSA Grower Traiing course in Davis

Training underway

The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training courses, underway since January of 2019, have been attended by vegetable, nut, and fruit growers from Butte County to Monterey County. David Goldenberg along with Aparna Gazula, farm advisor for small farms and specialty crops, with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension in Santa Clara County, conducted the first WIFSS training class. Assisting in the training with Goldenberg and Gazula were Avery Cromwell with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Donna Pahl, Cornell University, Produce Safety Alliance Extension Associate, with the Southwest Region, Riverside.

Dr. Russell talks to farming community in Oroville about GAPs.
Dr. Michele Jay-Russell, research microbiologist and manager for the Western Center for Food Safety and Liaison to WIFSS, joined Goldenberg in Oroville in March, where they presented an interactive demonstration of wildlife fecal contamination risk and mitigation at the Butte County Farm Bureau.

Benefits from attending the course

Course participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies training course completion. To receive the certificate, you need to be present for the entire one-day course and submit the paperwork to your trainer at the end of the course.

Costs to attend

Sign up now for training courses to obtain a certificate of completion for the mandatory training to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. This is a chance to learn about foodborne illness and its impacts to the produce industry and consumers, different types of foodborne illness organisms, why prevention of contamination is critical to produce safety, how to conduct basic risk assessment, and steps involved in monitoring, record keeping, and corrective actions. CDFA, through a contract with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is subsidizing the cost of the training. A $30 cost per registrant will be charged to provide a lunch, beverages and the course manual and certificate completion.

Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 9:33 AM
Tags: food safety (40)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Sarah Stellwagen: On the Trail of Spider Glue

A redfemured spotted orbweaver, Neoscona domiciliorum, photographed in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Spider glue: it's a sticky subject but there's much more to it than that. "Most people are unaware of the glue on a spider's web because you can't see the droplets with your naked eye, but it's a really important feature of the web that spiders rely on...

A redfemured spotted orbweaver, Neoscona domiciliorum, photographed in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A redfemured spotted orbweaver, Neoscona domiciliorum, photographed in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A redfemured spotted orbweaver, Neoscona domiciliorum, photographed in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An orbweaving spider wraps its prey, a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An orbweaving spider wraps its prey, a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An orbweaving spider wraps its prey, a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's a wrap. A honey bee encased in a spider web. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's a wrap. A honey bee encased in a spider web. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's a wrap. A honey bee encased in a spider web. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Butterfly Summit: Are Butterflies Heralds of Apocalypse?

A male monarch seeking nectar in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough," wrote the late poet Rabindranath Targoe (1861-1941) of Bengali, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. There may not be "time enough" for some species that are rapidly...

A male monarch seeking nectar in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male monarch seeking nectar in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male monarch seeking nectar in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A scene from last year's Butterfly Summit at Annie's Annuals and Perennials. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A scene from last year's Butterfly Summit at Annie's Annuals and Perennials. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A scene from last year's Butterfly Summit at Annie's Annuals and Perennials. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Rangeland Weed Management Workshop - May 11

*UPDATED ADDRESS* Saturday, May 11    •    9:00am to 2:00pm Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve (Fresno County)22477 Auberry Rd, Clovis Join us for a hands-on, field-based day exploring weed identification, management...

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2019 at 11:32 AM

Easter Egg Hunt 2019 Answers

Imported cabbageworm butterfly (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

If you've been in suspense all week, wait no longer. Here are the answers to this year's Easter egg hunt! Let us know how you did in the comments below. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!   1. Brown Garden...

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2019 at 8:00 AM
Tags: beneficial (10), Easter (6), eggs (8), hunt (4), insect (6), pest (71), pest management (19), UC IPM (215)
Focus Area Tags: Pest Management Yard & Garden

Next 5 stories | Last story

 
E-mail
 
Webmaster Email: mdhachman@ucdavis.edu