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January 17, 2020

LSU AgCenter Offers Food Safety Training for Fresh Produce Growers

The LSU AgCenter, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, is
holding a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training for growers of fresh produce who are required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety rule to attend such a training. This training will include an optional Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop and will take place on February 20 and 21, 2020, at the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station (21549 Old Covington Hwy., Hammond). Those who are only interested in the part of the training needed for FMSA compliance have the option of attending only the first day of the training. Individuals must be present for all of the training on that day to get the certificate that verifies compliance with the training requirement.

While this meeting will be held in Tangipahoa Parish, growers from other parishes are invited.

For more details about the training or to register, please go to the following website: https://www.lsu.edu/departments/nfs/outreach/psa-training.htm

Those who plan to attend are asked to register in advance. The fee for the training is only $20 and includes lunch and refreshments.



The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) became law in 2011. People who grow produce (fruits, vegetables, herbs, tree nuts, peanuts, mushrooms, and sprouts) that is consumed raw, for sale to others, are among the groups that are affected by this law. Under the FSMA Produce Safety rule, “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.”

This fact sheet provides a summary of FSMA Produce Safety rule requirements: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472887.pdf

Growers who have averaged less than $25,000 in annual produce sales over the previous three years are not covered by the Produce Safety rule, and there are exemptions from the Produce Safety rule related to certain crops that are identified as “rarely consumed raw.” Some farms that sell a majority of their food to “qualified end-users” are exempt from some but not all parts of the Produce Safety rule. Those who think that they may qualify for a partial or full exemption can see the above-mentioned fact sheet and the following chart: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM472499.pdf

If you have questions, please contact LSU AgCenter Horticulture Agent Dr. Mary Helen Ferguson (mhferguson@agcenter.lsu.edu, 985-277-1850, or 985-839-7855) or Extension Food Safety Specialist Dr. Achyut Adhikari (ACAdhikari@agcenter.lsu.edu or 225-578-2529). For accommodations for persons with disabilities, please contact Mary Helen at least one week before the event.

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