This program is grant-funded and limited to Massachusetts residents only.
Funding to offset the costs for this training comes from FDA Grant Agreement #U18FD005904 for The Integration and Implementation of FDA's Produce Safety Rule and The Commonwealth Quality Program.
This workshop is offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
January 21 & 22, 2021 (two separate afternoons, back-to-back)
- Thursday, January 21 from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm
- Friday, January 22 from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm
- This class will be offered online using the Zoom platform due to the ongoing pandemic. A link will be provided upon registration.
- You must have a computer capable of a videoconference (i.e., sound, webcam, and internet connectivity) to take part.
- Each participant must have a personal computer; NO cell phones or tablets allowed as the way to connect to the class.
- Computer camera must be on the entire class time. (Some exceptions made for participants with limited bandwidth, though attendees will be asked to turn on their cameras periodically to ensure attendance.)
- If you are joining in the same physical room as someone else, you must use headphones with a dedicated microphone to minimize background noise and feedback.
*Participant attendance and engagement will be monitored, and you will only be eligible for the PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion if you are present for all modules of the course.
Who Should Attend
Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, farm food safety best practices, and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires “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 course will also cover and satisfy the training requirement of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP), a voluntary 3rd-party audit program.
What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course
The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:
- Introduction to Produce Safety
- Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
- Soil Amendments
- Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
- Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
- Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
- How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.
Benefits of Attending the Course
The course will provide a foundation of farm food safety best practices and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:
- Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
- How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
- Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
- Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.
After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.
The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment and UMass Extension are equal opportunity providers and employers, United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Contact your local Extension office for information on disability accommodations. Contact the State Center Director’s Office if you have concerns related to discrimination, 413-545-4800 or see ag.umass.edu/civil-rights-information.
There is no charge for this course, and both the required training manual ($60 value) and certificate of completion ($35 value) are included for FREE.
Registration deadline January 5 - NO LATE REGISTRATIONS
Because space is limited and manuals are shipped to participants ahead of time, please be mindful that your registration indicates a commitment to attend. Certificates of attendance will only be issued to those who are present for all modules on both days.