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Available Resources for Produce Safety Preparation

Volume 7 Issue 10

Produce Safety Alliance Training OFFR with WSDA WA Small Fruit Conference Food Safety Session


Upcoming changes to food safety rules have many producers confused about how to prepare for these rules on their farm. Several resources are available to get prepared for these changes in 2019.


Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings and Train the Trainer

Register online or for more information, please visit our website:‐programs/psagtandttt/






PDF Version of Program Announcement

Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) was tasked with developing the standardized national produce safety training program to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The PSA has developed two types of training courses: Grower Training Course and Train‐the‐Trainer Course.

For question on content, please contact Dr. Faith Critzer at or for questions on registration, please contact Cathy Blood at

Who Should Attend
Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce
safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good
Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course
The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering
content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Benefits of Attending the Course
The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and comanagement information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a
participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

Costs to Attend
Total costs to attend the PSA Grower Training Course is $35. Funding from the
WSDA (grant #5U18005913-03) greatly reduced the cost of training.

Additional Information
For more information about scheduled PSA Grower Training Courses, please visit the WSU Produce Safety Website at

For questions related to registering for the course, please contact:
Cathy Blood
Events Coordinator, 509-335-2845
For any other questions, please contact:

Faith Critzer
Produce Safety Extension Specialist, 509-786-9203

Funding for this training was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government


Washington State On-Farm Readiness Reviews






PDF Version of Program Announcement

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is offering free, educational on-farm assessments to help farmers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

These On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR) are non-regulatory and voluntary. WSDA staff trained in the new rule will visit your produce farm to help you assess whether your produce safety practices meet the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) and prepare you for produce safety inspections.

These voluntary farm assessments are being done in partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Washington State University (WSU), the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission (WSTFRC) and other industry partners.

An OFRR is personalized.

Every farm is different which means the produce safety risks will vary. The results of an OFRR are customized for the needs of your farm. An OFRR is an opportunity for reviewers to observe practices in action and make tailored suggestions. Reviews should be conducted as close as possible to harvest time with each visit lasting approximately 2 hours.

During the visit, you can ask your specific food safety questions. The reviews are discussion-based between farmers and a small review team that will include WSDA staff and additional subject matter experts at the discretion of the farm.

An OFRR is non-regulatory.

An OFRR is an educational assessment, not an inspection or audit. The goal is to identify areas for produce safety improvement and prepare your farm for an actual inspection.

The OFRR assessment is a high-level overview of the farm operation and focuses on farm activities without a formal record review. However, reviews could include discussion of records required to comply with the Produce Safety Rule.

The assessment will give farms a better sense of what to expect from a routine inspection.

If a reviewer observes a serious, egregious condition that could pose an imminent public health hazard, the reviewer will work with you to take corrective action on-site. As long as the product has not entered commerce and the issue can be immediately addressed, reviewers will not take any regulatory action nor notify FDA or any other regulatory agency.

An OFRR is free.

OFRRs are federally funded through a WSDA cooperative agreement with FDA, so there is no cost to farmers for these assessments. Please contact the WSDA Produce Safety Program at if you have questions about whether you have any exemptions from the PSR.

How to request an OFRR

Farms of all types and sizes are welcome to schedule an OFRR, but priority will go to farms where at least one person has attended the PSR-required Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training. The PSA Grower Training is the only FDA-approved produce safety curriculum that provides a foundational understanding of the regulation and will aid in the review process. For more information on the PSA training visit:

To schedule an OFRR, visit and complete the Produce Farm Inventory enrollment form, or contact Karen UIlmann at:
or 206-714-6125


Washington State Small Fruit Conference: An Update on the Produce Safety Rule in Washington Session

Friday November 30th, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

The FDA Produce Safety Rule mandated under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first federal food safety law that sets specific standards for the growing, harvesting, packing, and storage of fresh produce. What exactly does it mean for Washington growers? This presentation will help growers understand what types of farms and produce are subject to the Rule, and what compliance requirements are expected. Staff from the WSDA Produce Safety and Regional Markets Programs will provide farmers resources, including guidance materials and information on how to request a free, on-farm educational food safety assessment, in order to better understand the Produce Safety Rule standards and how to prepare for inspections, which are projected to begin in Spring 2019.