30 articles tagged "Food Safety".

On June 5, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) mailed letters to produce growers having annual food sales over $500,000 informing them that inspections of produce farms would start in July.  Due to their sales volume, these growers are expected to be in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (21CFR § 112) as of the 2019 growing season.  The letters also outline the inspection process for 2019. As part of the inspection process, produce growers identified as having over $500,000 in food sales will be contacted sometime in June to schedule an inspection. The inspections will begin in July. Here are some things to keep in mind as ISDH rolls out their 2019 inspections: There will be no surprise inspections. Growers will be contacted prior to any inspector visiting the farm. The inspections will be conducted by ISDH. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will[Read More…]


On Friday, April 12, the FDA and CDC announced an outbreak of Salmonella Carrau in pre-cut melon products distributed by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods. While an Indiana company has been implicated in the outbreak, the melon product used to create the pre-cut products were not from Indiana and were likely imported from outside of the United States. Indiana growers are currently preparing to plant Indiana’s 2019 cantaloupe and watermelon crops in Southwestern Indiana and other parts of the state. Growers are anticipating a safe, bountiful harvest. Indiana melon growers take food safety very seriously and implement many on-farm practices aimed at reducing the risk of a foodborne pathogen contaminating the crop. “Indiana growers use a variety of practices that reduce the risk of contamination at the farm level. Among these are testing of irrigation water, use of sanitizers in wash water, and employee training programs”, said Scott Monroe, Food Safety Educator[Read More…]


Inspections of produce farms for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (PSR) are set to begin in July 2019. Passage of SB 331 in the Indiana General Assembly in 2018 gave the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) PSR enforcement authority in Indiana, making them the lead agency for inspections. SB 331 established no additional requirements beyond those of the federal rule. The rollout of the inspection program will be staggered, to reflect the staggered compliance dates found in the PSR. During 2019, ISDH will be conducting inspections only on farms that have produce sales exceeding $25,000 and total food sales exceeding $500,000. As inspections are rolled out, here are some things to remember: Prior to an inspection, growers will be contacted by ISDH by mail and by telephone. There will be no unannounced inspections. The inspectors will be as flexible as possible when setting up[Read More…]


Purdue Extension will be hosting a three-day PrimusGFS v3.0 Training at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center on December 5, 6, and 7. This training will provide basic information for those who anticipate using the PrimusGFS v3.0 system or will be transitioning from previous versions. Each day will cover a specific portion of the new version 3.0 system. Day 1 will cover Food Safety Management Systems. Day 2 will cover GAPs. Day 3 will cover GMPs and HACCP.  To register, go to www.SafeProduceIN.com and click on the “Training” option. For additional information, contact Scott Monroe at (812) 886-0198 or (765) 427-9910.


Beginning in August, Purdue Extension will offer produce food safety trainings throughout Indiana. The trainings utilize the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) training curriculum and will be offered at multiple locations across the state. For produce farms that are covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, at least one manager or responsible person is required to receive food safety training equivalent to FDA’s standardized curriculum. Completion of a PSA grower training is one way to meet that requirement. For growers who are not covered by the Produce Safety Rule, the trainings are an excellent introduction to produce food safety and will be useful to those who are beginning to develop a food safety program on their farm, or who want to learn more about this topic. There are currently 14 confirmed offerings across the state. Classes are from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm local time. Cost is $100.[Read More…]


The On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is now available and being offered to Indiana produce growers. The OFRR is a VOLUNTARY assessment of your farm’s readiness to be in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule. This is not an audit or inspection, but a chance for you to have a team of reviewers visit your farm to assess how well your food safety program lines up with the requirements set forth in the Produce Safety Rule. Once a review is requested, a team consisting of individuals from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), and Purdue Extension will visit your farm. The review takes approximately two hours. During that time, the team will ask questions and tour your farm in order to: Determine your coverage under the Produce Safety Rule Assess your farm’s current state of readiness for ISDH inspections, which will begin[Read More…]


In the last two months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released several communications dealing with the Produce Safety Rule (PRS). The following is a brief summary of those communications: Guidance On September 5, FDA released Guidance for Industry: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: What You Need to Know About the FDA Regulation – Small Entity Compliance Guide. This is a compliance guide, prepared by FDA, to assist small entities in complying with the PSR. Copies of the document may be downloaded at https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/ucm574281.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery. Testing of Agricultural Water On September 11, FDA announced that it had determined that the following water testing methods are “scientifically valid” and “at least equivalent” to the method of analysis (EPA Method 1603) in §112.151(a) in accuracy, precision, and sensitivity: Method 1103.1 – Escherichia coli ( coli) in Water by Membrane Filtration Using membrane-Thermotolerant Escherichia[Read More…]


The new SafeProduceIN website is now live and may be accessed at www.SafeProduceIN.com. SafeProduceIN is a collaboration between Purdue Extension, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, and the Indiana State Department of Health. The purpose of the collaboration is to assist Indiana produce growers with implementation of the Produce Safety Rule.  The new website will serve as a one-stop website where growers can submit produce food safety related questions, access food safety and FSMA resources, and register for trainings.


Managing domestic animals in a direct market venue can be very challenging. While best practice is to exclude domestic animals from production and packing areas, produce may be exposed to domestic animals at the point of sale if selling at a produce auction or farmers market. When selling through a direct market venue, growers should take steps to exclude domestic animals from produce. This may mean appropriate signs discouraging or prohibiting pets or a designated area where buyers may tie-up their pets away from the display area. Service animals present a special case. Service animals are protected by both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Indiana Law. Under the ADA, a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability. The tasks or work the animal does must be directly related to the[Read More…]


Figure 2. Pooling of water.Pooling is the collection of water in a low area of the field as is shown in a low corner of this asparagus planting.

Recent heavy rains across much of the state have resulted in widespread ponding and flooding in fields. This creates multiple considerations for those growing produce for fresh consumption.  Flooding and pooling create food safety challenges because of their potential to introduce contaminants (i.e. risk) into the production system. However, with proper management, many of these risks can be mitigated. Following heavy rains, growers should first determine if water in their fields is the result of pooling or flooding. Pooling is more common than flooding.  Pooled water generally accumulates in lower areas of the field or between rows, especially if raised beds are used. The key distinction between flood water and pooled water is that flood water originates from an uncontrollable source such as a river or creek.  Standing water that originated from a river or creek would still be considered flood water. Pooled water can cause damage to crops, but[Read More…]


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