Produce Safety Workshop Is Nov. 14 in Northeast Ohio
Lettuce be certain: Farmers can learn about Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPs, for preventing contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables Nov. 14.
CANFIELD, Ohio -- Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team will
hold a workshop on preventing microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable
Nov. 14. Food safety and Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPs, are the
The program goes from 1-4 p.m. at Ohio State University Extension’s
Mahoning County office, 490 S. Broad St., in Canfield.
“The Food and Drug
Administration should be releasing draft standards for safe production and
harvest of fruits and vegetables as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act,”
said Ashley Kulhanek, the team’s coordinator. “So it’s a good time to learn about
Leading the workshop will be
OSU Extension educators and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
staff. Participants will receive a resource workbook, paper handouts and a
certificate of participation.
Attendees won’t actually become
“certified in GAPs” by taking the course, Kulhanek said. That certification
comes only through a farm audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a
“Find out what your farmers market or buyers require,”
Kulhanek said. “Some may be satisfied with just a class on GAPs. Others may
require the full food safety farm plan and audit, or both.”
Many large grocery chains require their produce suppliers to
have full food safety plans and audits, she said.
Registration is $10 per person, payable by cash or check, with
checks made out to “Ohio State University.” Pre-registration is encouraged but
not required. Payment will be taken at the door. Walk-ins are welcome.
Contact Eric Barrett
in OSU Extension’s Mahoning County office at 330-533-5538 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot in the workshop.
Kulhanek said the registration cost is lower than it was for
similar programs last year thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of
Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Program.
She also said FDA’s draft standards have been delayed in the
Office of Management and Budget and might not be released until after the
For growers participating in the voluntary Ohio Produce
Marketing Agreement, the workshop may qualify as a participant’s required
yearly attendance in a comprehensive GAPs class. Further details about the
agreement are at http://www.opma.us.
OSU Extension and OARDC are
the outreach and research arms, respectively, of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.