Cornell Cooperative Extension to Host Farm Food Safety Training & GAP Certification Training

Submitted by Cornell Cooperative Extension

In response to consumer concerns about food safety, many retailers have initiated programs requiring farmers to have independent third-party inspections of farms to certify that fruits and vegetables are being grown, harvested and packaged using good agricultural and management practices. Effective farm strategies focus on prevention of contamination.

All farmers, regardless of farm size or product type, should have a farm food safety plan. On November 18th and 19th, Central New York farmers will have the opportunity to develop those plans at a two-day workshop at the SUNY Oswego Educational Outreach, 70 County Rte. 59, Phoenix, NY.

GAPs trainers Betsy Bihn (Cornell University, the National GAPs Program), Robert Hadad (The Cornell Vegetable Team, Cornell Cooperative Extension), Craig Kahlke (Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension), and representatives from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are conducting the food safety trainings on a state-wide basis.

The two-day workshops, November 18 & 19, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm each day, are for farmers who are being required by buyers to provide third party verification of their food safety practices and for farmers thinking about becoming certified.

This two-day training, with a third date to be added in late spring/early summer on a participant’s farm where there will be a mock audit with a NYS Ag & Markets inspector, will cover topics which include:
Understanding GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices)
Worker Training
Pest Control
Sanitation in both field and packing house
Record Keeping
Writing your own farm food safety plan.

A private on-farm GAPs evaluation consultation can cost $100/hour. The cost for this two-day GAPs workshop is $100 for one person, and $20 for each additional person attending from the same farm.

Pre-registration for limited space is required. To request a registration form, go to contact Jonathan Schell at Oswego County Cooperative Extension, 315-963-7286, ext. 200, [email protected] OR Dan Welch at Cayuga County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 315-255-1183 x234, [email protected] For questions or for additional information, call or email Craig Kahlke (Fruit team) at 585-735-5448, [email protected], or Robert Hadad (Vegetable team) at 585-739-4065, [email protected]

This program is made possible by a grant from the USDA Northeast Risk Management Education Center, along with Smith-Lever grant “Creating a comprehensive state-wide GAPs food safety education program”. In addition, funding to support the participation of NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Auditors and the distribution of GAPs educational materials comes from a Specialty Crop Block Grant to NYS from the USDA. Additional funding is supplied by Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The GAPs material is based on work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2007-49200-03888. Please advise us if you have special needs.