December 19, 2012
LINCOLN, Neb. — University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension workshops in January and February will help fruit and vegetable growers comply with new federal safety law.
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, signed by President Obama earlier this year, enhances the traceability of fresh produce grown in the United States, as well as mandates greater responsibility for food safety on the part of producers. The bill requires producers to evaluate hazards to their products, take steps to prevent contamination and to develop written food safety plans.
The workshops will help fresh produce growers or farmer's market managers complete the Good Agricultural Practices training. They will be presented by UNL Extension educators, with support from the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute. At the end of the workshop, participants will better understand GAPs, and how they can complete their own farm food safety plans.
The topics that will be covered will help producers enhance worker sanitation, harvesting, handling, packaging, storage and transportation standards of fresh produce from the farm operation to markets, schools, restaurants and retail stores. By completing a Farm Food Safety Plan, producers can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and appeal to many customers who perceive this training as an added benefit.
The one-day workshops will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fee is $65 per operation, which covers educational materials, lunch and breaks. Extra participants per operation will be charged $10 each for additional breaks and meals. Registration is due one week before the workshops; a $5 late fee will be charged for registrations after that date.
Registrations can be made by calling the UNL Extension Office in Hall County, 308-385-5088, or by mailing a check, made out to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension – Hall County, 3180 W. Highway 34, Grand Island, NE 68801-7279. Specify which workshop the registration is for.
– Sidney, Jan. 15 (deadline Jan. 8), South Platte Natural Resource District, 551 Parkland Drive
– Lincoln, Jan. 17 (deadline Jan. 10), Lancaster County Extension Office, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A
– Ord, Jan. 18 (deadline Jan. 11), Valley County Extension Office, 801 "S" Street, Suite 1 – Fairgrounds.
– Hastings, Jan. 24 (deadline Jan. 17), Adams County Extension Office, 300 N. St. Joseph Avenue
– Wayne, Feb. 20 (deadline Feb. 13), Meadowlark Room – Student Center, Wayne State College,
– Beatrice, Feb. 20 (deadline Feb. 13), Gage County Extension Office, 1115 W. Scott
IANR News Service