Who are we?

Foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States and abroad continue to make the news. Regardless of whether it is fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, animal products or fish, or packaged products, the on-going incidence of contaminated food has resulted in a demand for food safety assurance and increasing regulation in the farm to fork continuum. While there is no way to completely eliminate all of the potential risks of microbial contamination, there are many food safety practices growers, food handlers, and consumers can implement to reduce risks.

This website is intended to provide information about the efforts of the Virginia Fresh Produce Food Safety Team, as well as timely and science-based resources geared to reducing fresh produce contamination risks, beginning at the farm level, progressing through the market-place to the final end-user, the consumer. Whether you are a produce grower, a marketplace vendor or buyer, or a home consumer, we invite you to explore this website!

Information for Producers

We are here to provide you with the guidance and tools needed to understand market access, and identify various risks and sources of contamination, in order to implement on-farm food safety practices.

Accessing Markets

Looks at various characteristics, requirements, and hurdles for accessing various market sectors.

Assessing On-Farm Food Safety Risks

Provides the framework needed for all training needs.

Direct Market Food Safety

Direct market growers and market managers.

FSMA Compliance

Growers needing to comply with the Produce Safety or Preventive Controls for Human Food Rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Food Safety Plan Writing

Growers who may be in a transition stage of developing a written food safety plan and implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

GAP Certification and Recertification

Growers fulfilling buyer requirements by obtaining third party GAP certification or recertification.

Value-Added Products

Growers creating value-added food products.

Information for Consumers

Our goal is to provide comprehensive food safety education from garden to fork to assist Virginians in decreasing their risk of contracting a foodborne illness from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Gardening and Food Safety

Food Safety for Home and School/Community Gardening: produce fresh fruits and vegetables safely in the home, school or community gardening through increased knowledge, planning, and attention to details.

Purchasing Safe Produce

Considerations for Purchasing Safe Produce: consider the freshness, sources, and labeling of fresh fruits and vegetables to reduce food safety risks at home.

Safe Food Handling

Safe Food Handling, Preservation, and Storage: follow these guidelines for safe handling of fresh produce from time of purchase through preservation and/or storage to reduce food safety risks.


Find expert advice from the Fresh Produce Food Safety Team and other sources on various frequently asked questions.

From Our Blog

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