Farm Food Safety Workshops offered in Sidney, other Nebraska locations
Fruit and vegetable growers, both large and small, are becoming increasingly aware of the food safety issues related to field-grown produce, and the importance of food safety to consumers.
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law in 2011, enhances the traceability of fresh produce grown in the United States, and creates greater responsibility for food safety to producers. The bill requires producers to evaluate hazards to their products, take steps to prevent contamination and to develop written food safety plans.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension is helping producers meet the requirements of the new legislation with a series of six workshops across the state in January and February, including a Jan. 15, 2013, event in Sidney.
The Sidney workshop will be held at the South Platte Natural Resources District, 551 Parkland Drive. Other workshops will be held Jan. 17 at Lincoln, Jan. 18 at Ord, Jan. 24 at Hastings, and Feb. 20 at Wayne and Beatrice.
Reservations are required, and the reservation deadline for the Sidney workshop is Jan. 8. Please register for all training locations by calling the UNL Extension Office in Hall County by calling (308) 385-5088. Please specify the workshop date and location that you plan to attend.
The one-day workshops will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fee is $65 per operation. This fee covers educational materials, lunch and breaks. Extra participants per operation will be charged $10 each for additional breaks and meals. Please register one week prior to the desired workshop location date. A $5 late fee will be charged after the registration date has expired for each of the workshop locations.
The workshops will help fresh produce growers or farmer's market managers complete the Good Agricultural Practices training. They will be conducted by UNL Extension educators, with support from the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a better understanding of GAPs, and how they can complete their own farm food safety plans.
Topics that will be covered will help producers enhance worker sanitation, harvesting, handling, packaging, storage and transportation standards of fresh produce from the farm operation to markets, schools, restaurants, and retail stores. By completing a Farm Food Safety Plan, producers can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and appeal to many customers who perceive this training as an added benefit.
Please make all check payments out to the "University of Nebraska-Lincoln" when submitting the registration. Please mail registration to: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension - Hall County, 3180 W. Highway 34, Grand Island, NE 68801-7279.