Successful FSMA Food Safety Workshop near Fresno, CA

The CCOF Foundation’s Organic Training Institute (OTI) is offering food safety workshops throughout 2018 that meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Our most recent workshop was held near Fresno, California earlier this month. 
FSMA is the first major overhaul to food safety regulations since 1938 and includes new regulations that directly impact growers of fresh produce. Produce farms that gross between $250,000-$500,000 in annual sales may be required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule to have a supervisor attend a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA)-approved workshop by January 2019. Produce farms that gross less than $250,000 in annual sales may be required to have a supervisor attend a PSA-approved workshop by January 2020. To assist produce growers in meeting this training requirement, the CCOF Foundation received a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to host a series of the FSMA-required workshops at a discounted rate.  
With assistance from the California Center for Cooperative Development, private agriculture consultant Kayley Grimland, and University of California Cooperative Extension, the CCOF Foundation served both English and Spanish speaking-populations who attended our Fresno training. In addition to covering the FSMA-required curriculum, the training offered agriculture professionals an opportunity ask questions about how FSMA directly impacts their businesses. Instructors and workshop participants discussed a variety of topics, including worker health and hygiene, wildlife, postharvest handling, and production/postharvest water regulations.
Many growers wanted to know, “Do I qualify for a FSMA exemption?” “How do I safely and effectively manage wildlife intrusion?” “What is the best way to keep records of my pressure-washing schedule?” 
These questions are several of countless inquiries our attendees had about FSMA. This workshop sold out, but CCOF is hosting several more this year across California. Our next program will be in Woodland, California on March 28. Sign up today or view our other programs! 
Still unsure about whether you are required to take this training? Check out our blog post on FSMA Basics for Produce Growers. You can also learn more about FSMA on the United States Food & Drug Administration website. 
Thank you to H.M. Holloway Inc. sponsoring lunch at the Fresno workshop.