Where: Keith Hall, Bristol County Agricultural High School, 84 Center St, Dighton, MA 02715
When: Friday, March 24th, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Cost: $35 Price includes the required PSA Grower Manual ($50 value), a Certificate of Course attendance from AFDO ($35 value), Certificate of attendance from UMass/MDAR and lunch and refreshments
Instructors: Lisa McKeag, UMass Extension Educator & Michael Botelho, MDAR Commonwealth Quality Program Director
Co-sponsored by UMass Extension, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP).
Participants will learn about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and how these requirements will be enforced in MA through MDAR’s Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP). There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.
Who Should Attend
Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The PSA Grower Training 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 the PSA Grower Training Course
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
• How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (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
• 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.