By Clint Thompson
Alabama Extension will be part of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) webinar on Thursday highlighting food safety.
Kristin Woods, Alabama Regional Extension agent, who specializes in commercial horticulture and food safety, will join Michelle Danyluk, from the University of Florida, and Dawanna James-Holly from USDA National Agricultural Library (NAL), to discuss the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the southern region of the U.S.
Attendees will also learn about the USDA NAL, Food Safety Research Information Office and the Southern Center at the University of Florida as sources of fresh and processed produce research and training resources across the United States.
“I’ll describe (food safety) concerns in two tiers. One of them, of course, is we don’t want anyone to get sick, and the folks that tend to get sick are small children or older adults who are immuno-compromised. We just need to make sure that the food is as safe as it possibly can be all the way through the supply chain including coming out of the field,” Woods said. “It’s really hard to decontaminate produce once it’s contaminated. That’s why we’re talking about using water safely and using compost safely and using safe handling practices. Washing hands is a basic practice.
“The other tier is market access. We can hardly sell produce these days without having produce safety certification. We’re making sure that all growers, including the underserved audiences that are part of the Farm Innovation project, have the technical resources they need to achieve a food safety certification and access markets.”
The webinar will start at 12:15 EST.
More information and registration can be found at www.nal.usda.gov/programs/fsrio.