Food Safety sessions,trade show

Food Safety Sessions for Produce Farms at the Ag Trades Show!

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Agricultural Trades Show

The following news item is being sent to DACF subscribers as a courtesy.

The 2020 Maine Agricultural Trades Show occurs Tuesday, January 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday January 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday, January 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center, Augusta Maine.

Read more show press and promotions and view a list of show activities and venue maps at www.maine.gov/dacf/agtradesshow

Food Safety Sessions for Produce Farms at the Ag Trade Show

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry has prepared several FREE informational sessions focused on food safety and good agricultural practices on produce farms. 

UMaine Cooperative Extension and AgMatters, LLC will offer a Grower Training workshop at the show. The full-day training requires pre-registration and costs $30. It satisfies the requirement for at least one supervisor or responsible party from each fully covered farm to complete a food safety training recognized as adequate by the FDA.

Short Sessions on Produce Safety–Led by DACF

These sessions are designed to be accessible without extensive prior knowledge or experience. All are welcome to these free sessions to meet the team who helps farmers understand and access resources about produce regulations. Leah Cook and Lauren Mapes of Maine’s Fed/State Inspection Service will:

  • help answer questions about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA),
  • explain how it affects Maine’s produce farms,
  • share common observations from our field work,
  • provide an introduction to the USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program,
  • explain how voluntary GAP audits line up with FSMA’s mandatory regulations,
  • discuss how to integrate organic practices and food safety measures.

Description of DACF Daily Food Safety for Produce Farms Sessions:

REPEAT SESSIONS, January 14 and 16:

FSMA 101: Produce Safety Rule Basics & Why Food Safety Matters 2 sessions: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2019 @ 9:00 – 10:00 am Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 @ 10:00 – 11:00 am

The Produce Safety Rule is a mandatory federal food safety regulation for produce farms. This session provides an overview of basic FSMA food safety requirements and why food safety matters. If you’ve been meaning to catch up on your FSMA knowledge, this is a good place to start. Beginner friendly.

Ask Me Anything: FSMA Produce Safety Rule Hot Topics & Questions 2 sessions: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2019 @ 10:00 – 11:00 am Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 @ 11:00 – 12:00 noon

For folks ready to learn more about FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule, this session highlights the topics that have risen to the top in our work in the field(s). The floor will be also be open to ask us any questions you have about the Rule or how it applies to your farm. Beginner to Somewhat-Familiar friendly.

The Goods on USDA GAP Audits 2 sessions: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2019 @ 11:00 – 12:00 noon Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 @ 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm

Good Agricultural Practices Audits are independent audits of on-farm food safety and farming best practices required by buyers. Come to this session to learn how GAP Audits work, what they cost, and what the most common issues encountered are. Open to everyone.

ONE-TIME SESSIONS, January 15:

Straight Talk on FSMA Inspections: How They Work & What to Expect 1 session: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 9:00 – 10:00 am

Produce Safety Rule inspections have begun phasing in based on farm size. Large farms were inspected in 2019, Small farms will be inspected in 2020, and Very Small farms in 2021. Learn straight from the inspectors how inspections work, what to prepare for, and what to expect. For: Farms focused on inspections.  

Comparing Apples and Pears: FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule & USDA’s GAP 1 session: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 10:00 – 11:00 am

Government alphabet soup can be confusing. This session will give the birds’-eye-view of the differences and similarities between FSMA’s mandatory Produce Safety Rule and the market-driven voluntary USDA GAP audits. Open to everyone.

Organics, Food Safety, and FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule 1 session: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 11:00 – 12:00 noon

This session will talk about how food safety and organic farming intersect. We’ll discuss the underlying concepts of both systems, their inherent tension points, and how they can align and support each other. If you’re an organic grower and you have questions about integrating FSMA into your farm, come bring your questions and experiences. For: Anyone interested in integrated Ag.


Register for Grower Training Workshop– Led by UMCE and Ag Matters

The full-day training by University of Maine Cooperative Extension and AgMatters, LLC. This full-day training covers food safety best practices and the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. It satisfies the requirement for at least one supervisor or responsible party from each fully covered farm to complete a food safety training recognized as adequate by the FDA. It also includes a thumb drive full of resources, and a catered lunch to share with your fellow farm attendees. Advance registration is required. The fee workshop is $30.

>>Register for the full-day training here<<

Registration closes January 10, 2020.

NOTE: You must stay for the entire training to receive a certificate of completion and to satisfy the regulatory requirement for fully covered farms.

Have Questions? Let Us Help!

For any questions about these sessions, FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule, or USDA GAP audits, please call Leah Cook at (207) 764-2100 or email her at leah.cook@maine.gov.  We are happy to help