Food Safety Modernization Act Training Workshop

— Written By and last updated by

Have you heard about the new set of federal food safety regulations and that small farms are exempt from this law? Come get the facts about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). Learn how the practices in the rule are relevant to small farms and how your farm may be impacted by the PSR.

As part of the FSMA, the FDA developed “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption,” commonly referred to as the Produce Safety Rule. The PSR targets produce (fruits and vegetables) that are usually eaten raw, and its goal is to minimize the risks for consumers eating raw fruits and vegetables that could be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasitic organisms that cause foodborne illness. The intent of this workshop is to help you understand where your farm may fall under this regulation and learn about food safety practices that are relevant to small, diversified farms in North Carolina. Farm inspections are expected to start in the spring of 2019, and even though most small- and medium-scale farms may not be covered or qualified exempt from some of the stipulations of the rule, all produce growers have the responsibility to grow, pack, and hold produce following safe practices.

To help educate everyone on FSMA’s impact on small farmers, a workshop will be held February 25, 2019, from 6–8:30 p.m. at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, located in the O. P. Owens Agriculture Center, 455 Caton Road, Lumberton. Come learn with us!

A meal, which will start promptly at 6 p.m., will be provided, so please visit our registration page by February 21. For more information, please contact Mack Johnson, Extension Horticultural Agent, at 910-671-3276 or mack_johnson@ncsu.edu.

Dr. Chip Simmons is an Extension Area Specialized Agent for food safety serving eastern North Carolina. His background is in environmental/public health microbiology and food safety. He is a lead trainer for both the Produce Safety Alliance curriculum as well as the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance curriculum, the two training curricula currently approved for meeting the requirements for the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and the Food Safety Preventive Controls Rule, respectively. He grew up on a farm in eastern North Carolina, and the focus of his efforts is to promote food safety on produce farms by helping growers understand and prepare for FSMA implementation as well as to assist growers in meeting their buyer requirements.