Colorado Produce Safety News

May 5, 2022

In this issue:
  • Webinar on Food Safety in the Supply Chain
  • Cyclospora Resources
  • Produce Safety Field Day
  • PSA Grower Training Courses
  • On-Farm Readiness Reviews
  • Report on Salmonella Outbreak at Hydroponic Operation
  • More News from FDA
  • CO Produce Safety Program Updates

|| Resources & Information ||

CONTACT Produce Safety Webinar Series

Food Safety in the Supply Chain: The Web You Can’t Escape
This webinar will feature the talented and knowledgeable Dr. Bob Whitaker and a panel of experts from industry and academia to untangle the complex, and often challenging web that is the produce supply chain. This webinar will include an interactive Q&A with the audience. It serves as the season finale to CONTACT's Produce Safety Webinar Series, and it is sure to be a special treat and dynamic end to the season. This webinar is free and will be held via Zoom. Registration is required.

Webinar date and time: May 12, 2022, from 1:30pm-3:00pm Mountain. Register in advance for this webinar:

Cyclospora Resources

The International Fresh Produce Association notes that improvements in clinical diagnostics have revealed that the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis sickens approximately 125,000-190,000 Americans each year, with outbreaks generally attributed to fresh produce vehicles.

Once considered a "tropical" parasite, Cyclospora has now been detected in several produce items grown in the United States, and FDA has vocally encouraged growers to take risk mitigation measures as appropriate. However, there are no known mitigation measures, and the approaches used by the produce industry to manage other pathogens do not work for Cyclospora.

Additionally, the current inability to grow the organism in the laboratory limits the ability for researchers to provide answers, curbing the availability of commercial test methods. This presents a dilemma for producers when the marketplace, public and regulators seek assurance that the pathogen is being controlled. See this technical bulletin for more information.

|| Education & Training ||

Produce Safety Field Day - May 27th


Join Colorado State University's Fresh Produce Safety team for a field day at the Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) Horticultural Field Research Center on May 27th 2022 from 8am-11am (located at 4300 E. County Rd 50, Fort Collins, CO 80524). We will explore:
  • Risks within preharvest farming activities focusing on romaine, carrot, and onion crops;
  • Equipment uses;
  • Preharvest assessments; and
  • Risks associated with preharvest activities.
Register here:

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training


There are several options for taking the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training. Please see the methods below and choose the option that works best for you. 
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course
Offered by the Produce Safety Alliance as a three-week course that can be completed at your own pace. The online course is expected to take 15-30 hours for successful completion. Find online training options here.

Remote Delivery Course 

The same course CSU Extension has been offering but taught by educators in other states in real time. Instructors use video conferencing software, such as Zoom or Webex. This is a temporary option that is being supported during the COVID-19 outbreak. Find remote training options here.

On-Farm Readiness Reviews


An On‐Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a voluntary farm visit to conduct a non‐regulatory, confidential assessment of
a farm’s food safety practices and readiness for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.
This is an opportunity for you as a grower to:
  • Learn how your on‐farm food safety practices align with the Produce Safety Rule
  • Have a one‐on‐one discussion and walk‐through of your farm practices with a Produce Safety Rule expert
  • Gain feedback from an external set of eyes looking at food safety practices and assessing potential risks
We will be conducting on-farm readiness reviews in May and June!

For more information or to schedule a visit to your farm, contact Martha Sullins at 970-491-3330 or

|| News ||

New Report on Salmonella Outbreak at Hydroponic Operation

In July and August of 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state partners conducted an outbreak investigation into a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to packaged leafy greens produced at a Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) indoor hydroponic operation.

This report from FDA discusses vulnerabilities in the business production, handling and sanitation practices that will help other hydroponic operations improve their food safety measures.


Additional Updates:

Flexibility to Farms Regarding Eligibility for the Qualified Exemption Under the Produce Safety Rule: 

The temporary policy guidance issued in May 2020 provides flexibility regarding eligibility criteria for the qualified exemption under the Produce Safety Rule during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Specifically, farms that are currently eligible for the qualified exemption and associated modified requirements will still be considered eligible, even if they shift sales away from qualified end-users, so long as they continue to meet the requirement that their average food sales during the previous three years total less than $500,000 (adjusted for inflation). This policy is intended to remain in effect only for the duration of the public health emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.


Colorado Produce Safety Rule Program Updates

Registration for the 2022 Growing Season
It is not too late to register!  Registration under Colorado's Produce Safety Rule Program needs to be completed on an annual basis for those covered by the Produce Safety Rule, including Qualified Exempt farms.

The link to register can be found
here. After logging in or creating your account, you will have to select ‘Create New’ in order for your responses to be recorded for the 2022 growing season.
If you are unsure whether you need to register, completing the registration will ensure that CDA has your current contact information to update their database and inspection list.
Prefer to fill out a hard copy registration form? Contact
Sarah Musick, Produce Safety Program Coordinator at or 303-869-9282.
Register your farm

Have a produce safety question?

Submit your question or contact Martha Sullins:
Colorado’s Produce Safety Collaborative is part of the CSU Extension program and made up of 5 organizations collaborating to bring the most up-to-date produce safety information, training and education to Colorado’s produce growers and other industry stakeholders. 
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