Produce growers to get help meeting new food safety regulations

Food Safety Modernization Act establishes science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and storing fruits and vegetables


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • (Photo: ucanr.org)



"These new resources will help us to implement that plan to ensure producers and growers understand this new system for keeping our food supply safe.”
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding

— Pennsylvania’s produce growers will get help implementing food safety systems from a $6.3 million grant awarded to the state’s Department of Agriculture, Governor Tom Wolf announced recently.

The grant will help Pennsylvania comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, which establishes science-based minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and storing fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. The funding will be spread across five years.

Pennsylvania was one of 42 states to receive a portion of the $21.8 million in total funding.

“Pennsylvania received a sizable share of this FDA funding, which will prove vital in implementing outreach to our entire produce industry,” said Wolf. “We produce a variety of fruits, mushrooms, and vegetables, grown by a diverse group of farmers, many of whom are part of the plain sect community. Our prior history with most of these growers in performing voluntary audits has built a critical rapport and trus.”

The department currently provides voluntary Good Handling Practices/Good Agricultural Practices audits to growers who need a third-party inspection to meet market demands for food safety and quality. The Food Safety Modernization Act inspections will expand to all non-exempt growers.

“We’ve been reaching out to growers, giving them the heads-up and addressing their concerns since before the rule was finalized in November 2015,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "These new resources will help us to implement that plan to ensure producers and growers understand this new system for keeping our food supply safe.”

The cooperative agreement will allow the department to triple the staff at the Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services Fruit and Vegetable Division. They will do audits and inspections and work with Penn State Extension staff to educate growers and ensure compliance.

Producers will first be audited. Department staff will work with producers to identify any corrections and improvements that need to be made in order to pass inspection. Staff will return later to perform the official inspection on the facility.

For more information, visit eatsafepa.com.



Make text smaller Make text larger

MUST READ NEWS

Allen Gatzke of Milford, Pa., dies at age 97
Allen Gatzke of Milford, Pa., died on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Alliance Adult Living, Westfall Township, Pa. He was 97.
Son of the late Michael and Alice Mae (Milliken)...
Image Robert F. Martelli of Shohola, Pa., dies at age 72
Robert F. Martelli of Shohola, Pa., died peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, with his loving wife, Wendy Allen, by his side. He was 72.
Son of the late Hugo and...
Image Jean Lisk of Lords Valley, Pa., dies at age 74
Jean Lisk of Lords Valley, Pa., formerly of Staten Island, passed away on March 29, 2017, at Moses Taylor Hospital, Scranton, Pa. She was 74.
She worked for Eastern Airlines...
Image Farmers Market opens May 28
Starting on May 28 and every Sunday until Oct. 15, the environmental non-profit Air Soil Water will again host the Milford...

VIDEOS


Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

Comments

Pool Rules



MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA