Food & Ag: Produce Safety Training Available to WI Produce Growers

Produce safety has been in the news a lot lately. Wisconsin produce growers will have the opportunity to learn techniques that can strengthen their food safety system on the farm.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Extension (UWEX), is hosting several food safety training sessions required for Wisconsin fresh produce growers who must meet federal produce safety rules. The training sessions provide science-based, minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce that will help to strengthen the food safety system by focusing on prevention of foodborne illnesses.

The produce safety rules are part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act that requires at least one supervisor or other responsible person from a covered produce farm to attend one of the training sessions.

To determine if you need to participate, visit the Safe Wisconsin Produce website at http://safeproduce.wi.gov/ and click on “Is your farm covered?”

Training sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with check-in starting at 7:30 a.m. Space is limited, you must register in advance for one of the following training sessions:

  • Friday, December 7: Thorp Fire Hall, 101 Wilson St., Thorp
  • Thursday, January 10: Portage County Annex, 1462 Strongs Ave., Stevens Point
  • Friday, January 18: Waukesha County Courthouse, 515 W. Moreland Blvd., Rm 350, Waukesha
  • Wednesday, January 23: Angie’s Main Café, 132 S. Main St., Shawano
  • Thursday, February 7: St. Croix County Ag Service Center, 1960 8th Ave., Baldwin
  • Friday, February 15: Dane County UW-Extension, 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison
  • Thursday, February 28: Neville Public Museum, 210 Museum Place, Green Bay
  • Friday, March 15: Columbia County Health Building, 111 E. Mullet St., Portage

To register, visit https://fsmaproducesafety.wiscweb.wisc.edu/registration/ and submit your application online or download the paper application to mail it.

You can also contact your county UWEX office for a paper application. Cost is $65 per person and includes training materials, certificate, and meals. Instructors from DATCP, UW-Madison, UWEX, industry, and farmer organizations will cover the following on-farm food safety practices: using quality standards for agricultural water; managing risks associated with manure applications; avoiding contaminants from animals; training workers on health and hygiene practices; evaluating cleanliness of equipment, tools, and buildings; and developing food safety plans.

For more information visit DATCP’s Safe Wisconsin Produce website, call (608) 224-4511, or email safeproduce@wi.gov.

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