In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act into law.
This act features the traceability of fresh produce grown in the United States, as well as greater responsibility for food producers. The bill requires producers to evaluate hazards, create measures to prevent contamination and develop written food safety plans.
Planned workshops will help fresh produce growers or farmer’s market managers complete a Good Agricultural Practices training. The workshops will be held in January and February at five locations, including Ogallala and Kearney.
At the end of the workshop, participants will understand GAPs and take steps to complete their own farm food safety plans.
The topics that will be covered will include sanitation, harvesting, handling, packaging, storage and transportation standards of fresh produce from the farm to markets, schools, restaurants, and retail stores.
By completing a Farm Food Safety Plan, producers can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and appeal to customers who perceive this training as an added benefit.
The one-day training sessions will run from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Materials and costs of the workshop are provided by the University of Nebraska GAPs Training Team and through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant. Attendance is free.
Reservations are required to participate in the training workshops. Please register at: http://go.unl.edu/7ka. For more information please contact the Nebraska Rural Initiative at 402-472-2940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the University of Nebraska Rural Initiative and the Nebraska Farmers' Market Association in partnership with Old Cheney Road Farmers' Market are hosting the workshops.
They will be held:
• Scottsbluff on Jan. 25 - Panhandle Research and Extension Center (4502 Ave. "I"). RSVP by Jan. 18.
• Ogallala on Jan. 26 - Valentino’s Restaurant (55 River Road). RSVP by Jan. 19.
• Kearney on Jan. 27 - Buffalo County Extension Office (1400 E 34th St.) RSVP by Jan. 20.
• Norfolk on Feb. 8 - Lifelong Learning Center, UNL classroom (801 East Benjamin Ave) Please RSVP by Feb. 1.
• Omaha on Feb. 15 - Douglas/Sarpy Extension Office (8015 W. Center Road). RSVP by Feb. 8.