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The Maryland Food Safety Network (MFSN)―a collaboration of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Agriculture Law Education Initiative, Maryland Extension programs, and the UM College Park Plant Science Food Safety Group―has several food safety trainings scheduled for this winter. If you need to: get FSMA-certified; ensure that new, existing or returning farm workers are properly trained; check that your self-auditing records are compliant or your food safety SOPs are accurately updated; learn how to conduct risk assessments of equipment, facilities and water lines; or ask any questions you may have about food safety, be sure to register for a training ASAP!
There are several Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Grower Trainings planned throughout the state this winter for producers who need to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Farmers who grow produce that is often consumed raw (e.g. berries, leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) are likely covered by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and are required to attend a Produce Safety Rule Grower Training and take certain steps, including but not limited to, identifying and reducing food safety risks on the farm. If you are unsure how the Produce Safety Rule impacts your operation, attend one of the upcoming trainings to learn what you need to do to be in compliance with the law.
Exempt from FSMA? You may also be interested in attending if you need to maintain a food safety certification or you simply want the opportunity to ask food safety experts questions and learn along with your peers. These trainings can also satisfy the food safety training obligations for certain GAP programs, including Maryland GAP. Growers who need to comply with FSMA and/or GAP should make sure they send their designated food safety employee to one of the following upcoming trainings:
Online PSR Grower Training: Tues.-Wed. February 6-7, 2024, 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. both days ($35)
PSR Grower Training: Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Baltimore County Agricultural Center, Cockeysville, MD ($35)
PSR Grower Training: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., The Packing House, Cambridge, MD ($35)
Farm Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Maryland Department of Agriculture, Annapolis, MD (free for attendees with a PSR Grower Training certificate) ($15)
Cleaning & Sanitizing Workshop: Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Location TBD (farm in greater Baltimore area) ($20)
Find more details for all the events listed above and information on how to register at https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/food-safety-trainings-171819, or for questions, contact Margaret Todd, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-458-2475. (Light breakfast and lunch are included in all in-person trainings.)
Growers who attend a PSR Training will receive guidance regarding food safety risks and how to mitigate them, and a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training manual to take home. In addition, MDA’s Food Quality Assurance Program representative also presents information about Maryland’s Produce Farm registration forms, which are required to help establish the state’s inventory of farms and ensures MFSN can help provide relevant education, technical assistance, and compliance information. Upon completion of the PSR Grower Training, registrants will receive a certificate of completion via U.S. mail to prove they satisfied the FSMA training requirement.
Due to the ongoing need for Food Safety trainings, these trainings will continue to be offered, but registration fees may be more costly in the future - so register today!
Funding for the PSR trainings and additional trainings 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; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.
If you have previously attended a training but have questions about how the Produce Safety Rule applies to your operation, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the legal specialists at the Agriculture Law Education Initiative at email@example.com.