April 18, 2014

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The on-farm GAPs food safety team at the University of Minnesota works with Minnesota’s produce farmers to help them develop and implement on-farm food safety plans and prepare for GAPs audits. We provide education, outreach and technical support to fruit and vegetable growers through GAP workshops and mock audits, research relating to GAPs, especially as they impact small growers and immigrant and minority growers, and communication and collaboration with many agricultural partner organizations and government entities to help promote information-sharing regarding GAPs and farm safety.

Another Comment Period Coming! Proposed Rule on Standards for Produce Safety

Yes….ANOTHER COMMENT PERIOD on the PRODUCE SAFETY RULE is COMING! You can comment again on the provisions that include water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, certain provisions affecting mixed-use facilities, and procedures for withdrawing the qualified exemption for certain farms. Probably due to all of your GREAT comments the first time! 

The comment period will be reopened after the FDA has completed their initial review of over 17,000 comments submitted during the first open comment period. 

We will post here, on our Facebook page and on SUSTAG when the proposed rule has been re-released including information about where and how to comment.

Your input is bringing changes to food safety rules. 

Proposed Rule-at-a-Glance and Decision Tree for Exemptions/Exclusions. National GAPs Collaborators Holyer, LaBorde, Nickerson, Bihn, Castro, and Brooks organized crucial information into an easy to read document (pdf) FSMA-Decision-Tree-1.1_Feb_15_2013


On-line GAPs course

The next GAPs Online Produce Safety Course from Cornell University will be offered beginning April 9-29, 2014. The cost is $190 per participant.  When registering for the course you will be asked to enter a Group Number. Enter G000107 (those are all zeros). For more information read the GAPs registration information 2013 or go to www.ecornell.com/gaps or email Betsy Bihn at eab38@cornell.edu.  The next scheduled dates May 7-27. 


How to make a Handwashing Station for less than $20 

A very popular link and download. Full color and pictures describing how to build a simple handwashing station for your field or farm. Handwashing Station Instructions (pdf)


Upcoming Train the Trainer workshop!

If you are an educator who works with farmers and want to learn more about GAPs and on-farm food safety, consider attending our upcoming workshop.

Register here by April 23: http://goo.gl/pTJOeQ

Day 1: April 30 - In the classroom:  9:00 – 4:00 Le Sueur County Fairgrounds, 315 South Derrynane Street, Le Center, MN. (Hwy 99).

Day 2: May 1 On the farm: 10:00 – 4:00 East Henderson Farm, Henderson, MN, 30083 290th St, Henderson, MN.

Note: we are planning workshop in Moorhead, Brainerd and another location TBD in the fall of 2014 and spring and fall of 2015.