This is a one-day training course for produce growers. It is offered each year, generally November through April. The Produce Safety Rule, which is a part of the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), requires that fruit and vegetable farms that grow, pack, harvest or hold produce and that do not qualify for an exemption or exclusion from the Rule attend this training.
Is your farm covered by the rule?
Learn if your farm is covered by the rule (PDF) or contact the MDA’s Produce Safety Program. Exclusions and exemptions from the Produce Safety Rule will also be covered during the training.
If your farm is covered by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, attending this Grower Training Course satisfies 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.’ This course uses the approved curriculum developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA).
The certificate you receive is good for life, and follows the person, even if they move to a different farm. Also, GAP audits are not required by FSMA, and having a GAP audit does not replace the need to attend this FSMA training if you are covered by the Produce Safety Rule.
“This FSMA training is thorough and accessible and I appreciate the perspective of the diverse trainers as well as the participating farmers in the room. I left the training with new ideas to implement on our farm and a better working knowledge of food safety practices. This is worth the time to attend!” - Joan Olson, Prairie Drifter Farm
All growers interested in learning about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to attend. You will find the course material valuable.
Even if you have attended a GAP training in the past, this course will be useful and includes updated information. Good food safety practices protect your business, help meet market requirements such as a GAP audit, and keep our local foods safe and healthful for all.
What to expect at the FSMA Produce Safety Rule Training Course
The training will consist of practical guidance for implementing Good Agricultural Practices as well as the requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. There will be time for questions and discussion within each module, so farms should bring any questions they have about farm food safety and their operation.
“This training really was so useful for my farm. Knowing these basic principles helps me not only sleep better at night, but to create systems that save time and reduce any potential risks.” - Lori Cox, Roots Return Heritage Farm