Mock Third-Party Audit for GAPs Certification

The N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety – Field to Family program offered a mock third-party audit to educate N.C. Cooperative Extension agents and growers on the requirements for GAPs certification

N.C. MarketReady to Distribute Fresh Produce Safety Curriculum in November

The N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety – Field to Family curriculum will be distributed to N.C. Cooperative Extension agents in November. The training manual focuses on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), including what it takes to obtain GAPs certification, and managing risks from field to market. Watch for more details in the coming weeks.


FDA Listens to Small Farm Fresh Produce Safety Concerns

The N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force will host representatives from the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, September 28, 2009, in Raleigh, for a Small Farm Produce Safety Listening Session. Several dozen small farm produce growers are expected to participate in this meeting to share concerns about produce safety regulations.

Fresh Produce Safety Update

We include a comprehensive look at guidance updates and current and pending legislation regarding produce safety.

Guidance Update
Livestock Industry Traceability Model

Judson Armentrout, Director for Sustainability Practice, FoodLogiQ, presents a case study of an industry led national initiative in the livestock industry highlighting lessons learned and best practices that may be applicable to the produce traceability initiative.

United Fresh Produce Traceability Initiative

The Produce Traceability Initiative, sponsored by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association, is designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future, For more information on this initiative, see www.producetraceability.org.

The Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

www.foodsafety.gov >>

Larry Gabriel, Assistant Director of Regulatory Programs, N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Division, explains the standards for good agricultural practices (GAPs) set forth in the 1998 originating document. The FDA recently announced a comment period to seek information about current agricultural practices and conditions, risk factors associated with these practices, and possible measures that FDA could implement that would enhance the safety of fresh produce. Within the same course of time, The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) drafted a Model Code of Practice for Produce Safety from a request initiated by the Tomato Industry in Florida. Gabriel shares an update on the “Model Code” and gives participating producers from North Carolina a chance to respond with questions.

Congressional Update
Congressional Primer of Food Safety Update

Kelli Ludlum, Director of Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau, provides a Congressional primer and update for food safety and protection.

Tracking Current and Pending Legislation

A number of food safety bills are currently before Congress. You can read access any bill introduced in the U.S. Congress at Thomas.gov maintained by the US Library of Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/.

Update from N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force Working Group 3

This working group strives to ensure that industry and public policy decisions regarding fresh produce safety are informed by science-based information. The group has agreed on several base tenets for a produce safety policy platform in North Carolina.

Featured Resource

Dr. Garry Grabow, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NC State University, provides expertise in the areas of waste management and irrigation, including land application systems, impact of wastewater application systems and practices on environmental quality, lagoon closure and management, and public policy issues. He is co-director of the Lake Wheeler Land Application Training and Demonstration Unit. He teaches graduate level courses in watershed monitoring and assessment and open channel hydraulics for natural systems. Dr. Grabow is a member of the Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, Working Group 1. He currently is developing a module on water quality, which will be offered to agents later this year and early 2009.

Upcoming Conferences, Events, Meetings

N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety Training for Growers

The training focuses on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and what it takes to obtain GAPs certification. Members of the North Carolina Extension Food Safety Team will conduct the Tier 1 training workshop at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) in Goldsboro on November 18, 2009.