It’s been four years since growers on Maryland’s lower eastern shore have had a chance to attend an in-person Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Grower Training near them. The last one was at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in December 2019. Now, UMES Extension and the Maryland Food Safety Network are very glad to announce that we are hosting a PSR Grower Training in Princess Anne on December 7th and 8th, and the training will be a hybrid format, which means people can attend either in-person both days or they can attend remotely both days.
The training will be December 7th and 8th from 12:30pm to 5:30pm both days. The in-person location is at the UMES Research, Education and Extension Farm located at 10789 Steward Neck Road in Princess Anne, Maryland. Online attendance is via Zoom.
A PSR Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requirement that at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training “at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.” (21 CFR §112.22(c)). Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, FSMA, the Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety are also encouraged to attend.
All PSR Grower Trainings are presented by a team of experts from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the University of Maryland (UMD), UMD Extension, and UMES Extension. During the trainings, instructors cover the following eight areas:
Introduction to Produce Safety;
The Role of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and On-Farm Readiness Reviews;
Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training;
Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use;
Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water);
Postharvest Handling and Sanitation; and
How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.
In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.
The cost for the training is $35 for both in-person and remote attendees. The cost covers:
Course Materials (Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Manual v1.2); and
Course Certificate from the Produce Safety Alliance upon successful completion of the course.
To register for the hybrid training in December, go to https://mfsnproducesafety1222.eventbrite.com/
In addition to the hybrid training in December, there will be two other opportunities to attend an in-person Produce Safety Rule Grower Training in Maryland, including a training for urban farmers on February 10th.
There will be a training on January 23, 2023, at the Frederick County Extension Office in Frederick, Maryland. That training is from 8:30am – 5:00pm.
And February 10, 2023, will be the Produce Safety Rule Grower Training for Urban Farmers at the Anne Arundel County Extension Office in Gambrills, Maryland. That training will also be from 8:30am – 5:00pm.
You can find more information about, and register for, all upcoming trainings at https://umaglaw.org/events/
Funding for this series of work described in this article is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award U2FFD007444 totaling $523,497 with 100 percent funded by FDA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.