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Colorado Produce Safety News

January 3, 2022

In this issue:
  • Webinar on Risk-Based Thinking
  • GAP courses for 2022
  • PSA Grower Training Courses
  • Upcoming conferences
  • Proposed Agricultural Water Standard
  • CO Produce Safety Program

|| Resources & Information ||

CONTACT Produce Safety Webinar Series

 
Risk-Based Thinking in Agricultural Food Safety
Dr. Donald Schaffner, Distinguished Professor, and Extension Specialist at Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences will provide a presentation about risk-based thinking, followed by a Q&A.Risk assessments are all the rage these days in agricultural food safety. Unfortunately,the phrase "risk assessment" can mean different things to different people. Dr.Schaffner will provide his perspective on what constitutes a risk assessment and,more importantly, how agricultural producers can use risk-based thinking to improve food safety.

January 13, 2022, from 1:30pm-3:00pm Mountain. Register in advance for this webinar: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2yeZXAUkTh616mRN7ViZVQ.
Cleaning and Sanitizing on Farms 
 
FDA, in coordination with several other institutions, is hosting a free virtual pilot on cleaning and sanitizing on farms. It’s held 2 times per week from January 11-27, 2022. Participants should be those with responsibility for sanitation on farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule (e.g. not food safety staff, and not entities other than farms). To obtain the password to register, use the “contact organizer” link on the registration page (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pilot-cleaning-and-sanitizing-workshop-for-the-produce-industry-registration-204805628147).

Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin Workshop

This workshop covers best practices of composting within the context of the Produce Safety Rule, with perspectives from industry, cooperative extension, and regulatory agencies. It will include an overview on the Produce Safety Rule and draft guidance to understand the current regulatory framework and requirements associated with the use of  Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin (BSAAO) for covered produce on farms. The intent is to help regulated farms understand how to comply with the current requirements, provide an update on the status of BSAAO Risk Assessment, associated research, and discuss what it means for the possible future of Subpart F provisions for the use of untreated BSAAO on covered farms.

January 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2022. Please contact Laura Grunenfelder Laura.Grunenfelder@fda.hhs.gov or Lianna Kelly, Lianna.Kelly@fda.hhs.gov for more information.

|| Education & Training ||

Getting up to Speed on Good Agricultural Practices 

1. Deep-Dive into GAPs on the farm: useful for farm owners, workers and gardeners who grow, harvest and pack fresh vegetables for sales to all markets, including at farmers’ markets, CSA, retail, schools, restaurants, or who donate produce to others. Courses take place in January and March 2022. Register here: https://learning.umn.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=31226408.

2. One-hour class on GAPs: 1-hour Food Safety Deep Dive will provide in-depth information around specific food safety topics for your fruit & vegetable farms, be led by University of Minnesota Extension, experienced farmers & experts. Webinars are from 8:00 - 9:00 MST & will be recorded.
  • Feb 9, 2022: Lean & Clean: Applying Food Safety & Lean Farming Concepts to Fruit & Vegetable Farming to Save Money & Time
  • Feb 16, 2022: Pack shed design; improved post harvest quality & safety
  • Feb 23, 2022: Recordkeeping apps, tools and tricks for food safety & profitability
  • March 2, 2022: Managing Produce Safety Risks of Rotating Livestock through Produce Fields/Orchards


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. 
 

Colorado Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training 

CSU Extension has scheduled two trainings for this fall and winter. Additional dates will be announced. 
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.

Save these dates for upcoming Colorado produce safety events!

Colorado Farm Show Produce Day



January 25, 2022

Join us for new research and information on produce safety. 



 
Learn more

CFVGA Annual Conference

February 28 - March 1, 2022

Online and in-person conference!
 
Register here

|| News ||

Proposed Changes to Agricultural Water Requirements in the Produce Safety Rule


On December 2, 2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule that aims to enhance the safety of produce. It proposes to require farms to conduct comprehensive assessments that would help them identify and mitigate hazards in water used to grow produce. This is the latest step in the agency’s implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and it proposes to replace some of the existing requirements for agricultural water in the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). The FDA is proposing a revision to Subpart E. View the proposed standard here.

Comments and feedback can be submitted online. The comment period is open until April 5, 2022. Growers, educators, regulators, and others are all encouraged to submit feedback.

FDA will be holding two virtual public meetings to discuss the recently proposed rule. The first meeting will be held on February 14, 2022 from 11:45am to 7:45pm EST. The second meeting will be held on February 25, 2022 from 8:45am to 4:45pm EST. More specifics, including information on how to register for the virtual meetings, will follow in the Federal Register and on the FDA website.


Reminder!

Colorado Produce Safety Rule Program Updates


Colorado Produce Safety Program Rule Change
The dollar threshold limits under the Colorado Produce Safety Rule Program increased effective October 30, 2021. Farms with a rolling three-year sales average for 2018 through 2020 that is less than $28,561 are exempt from the Rule (an increase from the current three-year rolling average of $28,075). Farms whose three-year sales average during that same period falls between $28,561 and $571,214 may be eligible for Qualified Exemption status under the Rule. These new limits are the maximum allowable under FDA guidelines.   

 
2022 Produce Safety Program Registration Opene
d Nov 1, 2021
All farms who grow, harvest, pack or hold produce that is commonly consumed raw with sales values above the exempt level are required to register with the program annually between Nov 1 and Dec 31, 2021. Registration is free and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. No forms need to be uploaded or copied. The link for online registration can be found here. For a mail-in copy of the registration or questions, reach out to: Sarah Musick, Produce Safety Program Coordinator at sarah.musick@state.co.us or 303-869-9282.
Register your farm

Have a produce safety question?


Submit your question or contact Martha Sullins: Martha.Sullins@colostate.edu
 
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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