As a produce grower, it is very important to have a thorough understanding of the various risks and sources of contamination on the farm. Once the risks are identified, there are many food safety practices producers and food handlers can implement beginning at the farm level and throughout the supply chain to the market place. These practices are called Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and relate to water and soil quality, especially as impacted by wildlife and livestock management; worker health and hygiene including proper produce handling during production, harvest, and post-harvest; equipment, tools, and facilities; and ensuring traceability of the product from the farm to the marketplace. Some examples of GAPs include periodic testing of irrigation water to make sure it is potable; treating water if it is non-potable; restricting wildlife access to produce areas using fencing or other deterrents; making sure workers are properly trained in hand washing and other hygienic practices; sanitizing bins and tools before harvesting; having a good recordkeeping system to track product.

Since the food safety training needs you might have can vary widely, we have organized the website content in the Producer Section as shown in the tree graphic below:

The crown of the tree represents different kinds of training based on specific market and regulatory requirements.  Regardless of the specific training needs identified, a solid foundation in production and marketing principles, and knowing how to identify on-farm risks, is essential.

You can also simply explore the other sections shown below: