Friday, February 18, 2011

Fresh Produce Safety - Tier 1 Training

We will be holding a Fresh Produce Safety Training at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center.

The seven hour training will be broken up into 3 sessions on Mondays February 28, March 7 and March 14. The sessions will be from 1-3:30 pm.

The fee for the training is only $15/person. Checks can be made payable to “NCCES”.

To Pre-Register or for more information please call 828.697.4891.

Tier 1 will address GAPs that are directly related to field production and harvest. The training will include an introduction to common food-borne pathogens and diseases as well as recognizing points of potential contamination, proper use of biosolids as a nutrient source, effective hand-washing procedures, packing facility cleanliness and verifying water quality for field application and postharvest handling.

Anyone involved in handling fresh produce, from farmers and field hands to packing house employees and truckers will benefit from the training by learning to identify and prevent contact between sources of contamination and fresh produce. Attending this training session will result in growers moving towards compliance of pending fresh produce safety legislation. Upon completion of the seven-hour training, attendees will receive a certificate of attendance that they can post at their tailgate market booth and their name will be posted on the N.C. MarketReady website (, allowing end markets and consumers to find growers that have completed the training.

GAPs certification requires establishing a food safety plan and passing a third-party audit that assesses the strength of the food safety plan and ensures that it is properly implemented. Currently, GAPs certification is voluntary for North Carolina farmers, though new legislation is on the horizon.

Learn more at

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