Maryland: Food Safety Training for Fruit & Vegetable Producers Scheduled for March 27

Press Release -

Annapolis, MD

The Maryland Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland Extension, and University of Maryland will be conducting an advanced food safety training workshop for fruit and vegetable producers on Monday, March 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Maryland Department of Agriculture; 50 Harry S Truman Pkwy, Annapolis.  This one-day workshop is intended for growers who have previously attended a basic GAP training and is important for small- and large- scale producers who want to understand how to meet current FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Rule requirements; are considering Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) certification; or are currently GAP/GHP certified and need to meet continuing education requirements. The training will focus on post harvest food safety issues.

Date and location:  Monday, March 27, 2017; 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Lower Level Conference Rooms, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, Md.  21401. Workshop site contact: Carol Reynolds (carol.reynolds@maryland.gov, 410-841-5769)

Topics covered include: Highlights of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act- University of Maryland Agriculture Law Initiative; Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices such as addressing pre-harvest and post-harvest water quality issues; an update on current food safety research; conducting risk assessments; traceback and recall issues; and MDA/UMD programs to assist producers in implementing GAP/GHP.

Registration: Registration is required to ensure adequate materials are available. The registration form can be found on the department’s website. The fee for the program will be $15, and will cover lunch costs and materials provided to each participant. Attendees will receive a certificate of participation following the program.

The department offers two GAP/GHP certification programs for fruit and vegetable producers.  Md. Dept. of Agriculture GAP certification is geared toward direct marketers or other producers that want to start with a basic food safety program and is available to Maryland fruit and vegetable producers at no cost.  USDA GAP/GHP and USDA Harmonized GAP pre-harvest and post-harvest certification is provided through a cooperative agreement with USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service and is a nationally recognized certification that meets the requirements of many wholesale buyers. USDA specialty crop grant funding is available for cost share of the USDA audit fees.

For more information on these certification programs, contact Deanna Baldwin with the Maryland Department of Agriculture at Deanna.baldwin@maryland.gov or 410-841-5769 or Justine Beaulieu with the University of Maryland at jbeauli1@umd.edu or 301-405-7543.