Do you grow, harvest or handle fresh produce? You may have heard about the new federal regulations for Produce Growers ....
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law January of 2011. The Produce Rule of FSMA will require some produce growers to complete training and receive certification. Cornell University’s Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) has developed a national produce safety training program to prepare fresh produce growers with the information needed to be in compliance.
Arkansas growers will need to complete a Grower Training by compliance dates based on their annual (three year average) gross produce sales, with larger growers (>$500,000) being required to be in compliance by January 26, 2018. Smaller (>$250,000 but less than $500,000) and very small growers ($25,000 but less than $250,000) will be required to be in compliance in Jan 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez, Assistant Professor in Food Systems and Food Safety will lead Arkansas’ effort to assist Produce Growers with meeting federal requirements. The University of Arkansas Extension can provide fundamental, science-based, on-farm food safety knowledge to fresh fruit and vegetable farmers, packers, regulatory personnel and others. Produce Safety Grower Trainings are planned for later this year. Dr. Perez will share future trainings and federal regulatory updates at: www.uaex.edu/arkansas-produce-safety.