DATCP and UW-Extension Host Required Food Safety Trainings for Produce Growers
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Extension (UWEX), is hosting several food safety trainings required for Wisconsin fresh produce growers who must meet federal produce safety rules. The trainings provide science-based, minimum standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce that will help to strengthen the food safety system by focusing on prevention of foodborne illnesses. The produce safety rules are part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act that requires at least one supervisor or other responsible person from a covered produce farm to attend one of the trainings. To determine if you need to participate, visit the Safe Wisconsin Produce website at http://safeproduce.wi.gov/ and click on “Is your farm covered?”
Trainings will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with check-in starting at 7:30 a.m. Due to limited space, you must register in advance for one of the following trainings:
• Friday, December 7: Thorp Fire Hall, 101 Wilson St., Thorp
• Thursday, January 10: Portage County Annex, 1462 Strongs Ave., Stevens Point
• Friday, January 18: Waukesha County Courthouse, 515 W. Moreland Blvd., Rm 350, Waukesha
• Wednesday, January 23: Angie’s Main Café, 132 S. Main St., Shawano
• Thursday, February 7: St. Croix County Ag Service Center, 1960 8th Ave., Baldwin
• Friday, February 15: Dane County UW-Extension, 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison
• Thursday, February 28: Neville Public Museum, 210 Museum Place, Green Bay
• Friday, March 15: Columbia County Health Building, 111 E. Mullet St., Portage
To register, visit https://fsmaproducesafety.wiscweb.wisc.edu/registration/ and submit your application online or download the paper application to mail it. You can also contact your county UWEX office for a paper application. Cost is $65 per person and includes training materials, certificate, and meals. Instructors from DATCP, UW-Madison, UWEX, industry, and farmer organizations will cover the following on-farm food safety practices: using quality standards for agricultural water; managing risks associated with manure applications; avoiding contaminants from animals; training workers on health and hygiene practices; evaluating cleanliness of equipment, tools, and buildings; and developing food safety plans.
Wisconsin ranks 11th in the nation in number of produce farms, and second in number of organic produce farms. There are an estimated 1,100 Wisconsin farms that must meet the federal produce safety rules.