Blog posts by food safety

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, events, food safety

Confused about what records you are required to keep for compliance with the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? Not sure how those records overlap with what you are already doing for your organic certification? Join the CCOF Foundation, Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) for a webinar on June 18 that clearly explains what records are required for produce farms that must fully comply with FSMA and how those records align with USDA National Organic Program recordkeeping requirements.Farms that must fully comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) started its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections of produce farms this spring. Produce farms with more than $500,000 in average annual sales may be contacted by CDFA in 2019 for an inspection to verify the farm’s compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. What to Expect During an InspectionTo help orient growers to the FSMA inspection process, CDFA recently published information on what to expect during an inspection. The CDFA Produce Safety Program inspection procedures webpage includes information on the inspection...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 8, 2019 on food safety, general organic, grower


foodsafety

CCOF received a NIFA Food Safety Outreach grant in 2017 to provide Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) required Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) compliant trainings and technical assistance for small scale, organic, and Spanish speaking farmers in California. In collaboration with partner organizations Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) and the California Center for Cooperative Development, CCOF conducted eight trainings and two webinars between January 2018 and January 2019. Project Results192 attendees received FSMA PSA training throughout California from 2017-2019.51...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 1, 2019 on biodiversity, food safety


biodiversity

Dung beetles and soil bacteria on farms could help suppress E. coli and other harmful pathogens, according to research. The study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found improved food safety may be enhanced by on‐farm biodiversity and the current view that farm simplification helps may undervalue natural resistance to human-pathogen survival. Growers are often encouraged to remove hedgerows, ponds, and other natural habitats to prevent wildlife from moving onto their farm fields and potentially spreading foodborne pathogens. Results suggested dung beetles and soil bacteria may...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 25, 2019 on food safety, general organic


FSMA

Food safety inspections on produce farms are beginning this month, but there are still questions as to what the first round of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule inspections will look like. The fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be regulating farms for the first time is concerning for many produce farmers who have never interacted with FDA before on a regular basis. Adding to the anxiety for some producers, is the fact that this will be the first time in history that they will have to deal with regular inspections on their farm.  In order to help...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Not sure what the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) means for your small or medium-sized organic farm? Join the CCOF Foundation and Community Alliance with Family Farmers/Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on March 27 for a webinar that clarifies the basic FSMA requirements for small and medium-sized produce farms.  Produce farms in California are subject to FSMA inspections by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Even if your farm qualifies for an exemption from FSMA, you still need to keep records to prove that you qualify for the exemption. A FSMA inspector may request...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 25, 2019 on biodiversity, food safety, general organic, research

The FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is now taking effect for California farmers. A new survey, funded by the USDA, promises to give a clearer picture of what this means for the industry. Farmers have voiced concerns over the costs and challenges of complying with the Rule since it was first announced. However, there is still too little hard evidence on the true distribution and severity of these challenges. Both farmers and government agencies need concrete statistics on where California farmers stand with respect to the Rule and how much they’...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, January 28, 2019 on food safety, inspection


CCOF Food Safety

The winter months are when organic producers are busy pouring over seed catalogs, considering planting schedules and reviewing land or sales contracts. While not at the very top of the list of things to do, scheduling annual organic and food safety inspections also deserves attention. CCOF would like to help!Overlapping regulations and requirements for modern farms have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue”. Since the inception of our food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined organic and food safety inspection to cut down the time spent reviewing documents and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 7, 2019 on food safety, general organic, labeling and packaging, regulatory

The USDA released its final rule for labeling genetically modified (GM) foods in December, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed a federal labeling law. In a significant win for organic, all certified organic products, including the label categories “100% Organic”, “Organic”, and “Made with Organic” are exempt from the labeling requirement. The exemption does not apply to products with less than 70 percent organically produced ingredients. Very small food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers who prepare food on-site are also exempt from the labeling rule. For the purpose of this...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Tickets for the CCOF Foundation food safety workshops in Pacific Grove, CA are going fast. While our workshop in English has sold out, there is still space left in our Spanish food safety workshop. Hosted on January 23 in conjunction with the 2019 EcoFarm Conference, the workshop meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, tickets cost only $35. Don’t miss the January 15 deadline to purchase tickets!You do not need to attend the entire EcoFarm conference to attend the...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Join the CCOF Foundation on January 23, 2019 in Pacific Grove, California for the final trainings in our FSMA food safety workshop series. The workshops will be offered in English and Spanish and meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person.  Our January trainings are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm conference. You do not need to...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 15, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Does your farm still need a supervisor to take a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA)-approved workshop that meets the FSMA training requirement for produce growers? If so, join the CCOF Foundation in Santa Rosa on November 7 and check the training off your list. Normally, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person, but thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the CCOF Foundation is offering these trainings for $35 per attendee. The ticket price includes course materials, lunch, and certificate fees. During the day-long workshop, trainers will cover...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on food safety, water

Are you looking for more information on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) agricultural production water requirements for produce farms? Have you heard that you may need to test your irrigation water to comply with FSMA, but aren’t sure what is the best way to go about doing it?  Join the CCOF Foundation and the Western Center for Food Safety on October 10 for a webinar that highlights practical guidelines on how to get ready for the agricultural production water requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Learn microbiology basics to help you better understand the water requirements...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, September 17, 2018 on food safety, general organic, inspection

Organic producers are busy and have a lot going on, especially during harvest. Overlapping regulations and requirements for a modern farm and all the inspections that result have many producers experiencing “audit fatigue.” Since the inception of CCOF’s food safety program, organic growers have been asking for a combined food safety and organic inspection to reduce the amount of time these inspections take them away from what they love to do: work their farms.  CCOF, an organization that is governed by a board of organic producers, heard you loud and clear. We began cross-training GlobalG.A.P...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 21, 2018 on CCOF, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower, pests and pesticides

Organic Grower Summit December 12-13, 2018 at the Monterey Conference Center   The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) has announced Western Growers will again serve as the Ag Technology sponsor for this year’s event. As the Ag Technology sponsor, Western Growers will help coordinate the attendance of technology companies as exhibitors, and help facilitate elements of the technology area at the event.    To date, OGS has secured over 45 committed exhibitors and 35 sponsoring companies.   Among participating exhibitors are leaders in the fields of seed, soil amendments, food safety, and ag technology...

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