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Colorado Produce Safety News

March 1, 2022

In this issue:
  • Webinar on Agricultural Teas
  • Post Harvest Resources
  • PSA Grower Training Courses
  • Proposed Agricultural Water Standard - Western Region Meeting with FDA
  • CO Produce Safety Program

|| Resources & Information ||

CONTACT Produce Safety Webinar Series

 
Safe-Tea: Brewing and Using Agricultural Teas Safely
Agricultural Teas come in multiple forms, are prepared from a variety of ingredients (like compost, kelp, manure, molasses, and more), and are brewed and applied in various ways. Each of these inputs are associated with various risks and benefits – some well researched and some not.

This webinar will feature Ms. Donna Clements, M.S. (Produce Safety Alliance), Dr. Dave Ingram of FDA/CFSAN, and Mr. Billy Mitchell (Local Food Safety Collaborative) to provide background on agricultural teas and the implications of current policy on their use in fruit and vegetable production. It will introduce important terms to know like BSAAO, leachate, soil drench, and aqueous extract, discussions about past and ongoing research, and science behind FSMA Produce Safety Rule provisions. Plenty of time for Q&A will be left at the end. This webinar is intended to be conversational and interactive, an opportunity for the audience and presenters to share and learn from each other.


Webinar date and time: March 10, 2022, from 1:30pm-3:00pm Mountain. Register in advance for this webinar: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/WEBINAR/REGISTER/WN_GUVR76HBSLOPGL_NKTHLGW.

Post Harvest Resources
 

University of Vermont's Ag Engineering program has a variety of resources on packing, washing and cooling of fresh produce. These resources include: Check out these resources and get ready for the 2022 season!

|| Education & Training ||


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 one more training for early spring, to be held:
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.
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.

LEARN MORE:
FDA will be holding regional meetings to discuss the proposed rule. The Western region meeting will be held on March 11 from 11am-12pm MST. Register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WesternProposedAgWater
.
 

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.


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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