You may have heard about a new food safety law and you may have heard that small farms are exempt from this law…
As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA developed “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption”. These standards are commonly referred to as the Produce Safety Rule. The goal for this Rule is to minimize the risks for consumers of eating raw fruit and vegetables that could be contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasitic organisms that cause food-borne illness.
Many farmers are not sure how this rule will affect them and have been asking for guidance. The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a FSMA for Small Farms Workshop on Thursday, August 16, 2018, from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro.
The intent of this workshop is to help you understand where your farm may fall under this regulation and learn about food safety practices that are relevant to small, diversified farms in NC. Farm inspections are expected to start in the spring of 2019 and even though most small- and medium-scale farms may be not covered or qualified exempt from some of the stipulations of the Rule, all produce growers have the responsibility to grow, pack and hold produce following safe practices. Come learn with us!
The FSMA for Small Farms Workshop will cover six Food Safety Practices essential for maintaining fresh produce safety on farms of any scale. It will also help participants walk-through an “Exempt or Not? Navigating the Qualifications” exercise to determine how FSMA’s Fresh Produce Safety Rule will govern each participant’s own operation. Workshop leaders will also educate participants in how FSMA will affect any CSAs & Food Hubs that growers may be part of, and focus on the confluence of required practices under FSMA as a preparation & requirement for potential GAP audits & certifications.
This workshop is free and open to all current and potential farmers of vegetables and fruits at any scale. Pre-registration is required and the deadline to register is August 13. To register go to go.ncsu.edu/2018-fsma