Food Recalls vs. Outbreaks: What Growers Need to Know

Jim Rogers Food Safety

By Camila Rodrigues The number of news stories on produce recalls from retail stores and outbreaks related to contaminated food have increased in recent years. These include recent cases of hepatitis A linked to fresh strawberries and several cases of E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce. The terms “recall” and “outbreak” can be very confusing since they are commonly …

USDA Announces Assistance for On-Farm Food Safety Expenses for Specialty Crop Growers

Jim Rogers Food Safety, USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to provide up to $200 million in assistance for specialty crop producers who incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses to obtain or renew a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 or 2023. USDA’s new Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops (FSCSC) program will …

N.C. State Extension to Host Produce Safety Field Days

Jim Rogers Food Safety, North Carolina, Produce

North Carolina State Extension will host two produce safety field days in April. One will be held at the Horticultural Crops Research Station in Faison on April 6. The other will be held at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River on April 13. Both programs are free and will be held from 10 a.m. to …

Sanitation, Documentation Key Management Strategies for Food Safety

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Food Safety, General

By Clint Thompson Sometimes one bad apple can spoil a bunch. For a specialty crop producer, it can mean their livelihood. Proper sanitation and documentation are essential management practices to the long-term sustainability of a farming operation. Growers need to regularly clean their packinghouse equipment while maintaining adequate records. This can prevent the recall of a large amount of produce, …

UF/IFAS to Host Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

Clint Thompson Florida, Food Safety, Top Posts

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Food Safety Team will host a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at the Jefferson County Extension office in Monticello, Florida. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 12. Fruit and vegetable producers interested in learning about produce safety or who need to satisfy the Food …

Excessive Rain a Potential Food Safety Concern for Fresh Produce Growers

Clint Thompson Alabama, Food Safety, Top Posts, Weather

By Clint Thompson Rains from storms and other tropical events help replenish the soil moisture. However, they also provide food safety concerns for fresh produce growers. Camila Rodrigues, assistant professor and Alabama Extension specialist in Horticulture at Auburn University, says the biggest concern is with runoff. “What is around the field that could be carried around by runoff and also …

Capitalize on Conservation Funding and Enhance Produce Safety

Ashley Robinson Agri-business, Food Safety, VSCNews magazine

By Kristin Woods Conservation funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) can help growers implement good land stewardship practices in an economically sustainable way. While these practices may affect pathogen movement in the farm environment, they are not meant to reduce produce safety risk. Additional consideration must be given around how implementing specific practices …

Know What Sanitizers to Use and How to Apply Them

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Food Safety, Georgia, Top Posts

In the age of COVID-19, sanitizer applications are essential for producers to keep their workforce healthy. Laurel Dunn, Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia, offers several guidelines for using sanitizers and other cleaning products in facilities where vegetable and specialty crops are cleaned and packaged. Not All Sanitizers are Appropriate The …