Scott Monroe

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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.


Purdue Extension will be hosting a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training on September 28th. The training will be held in the basement of the SWPAP building at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center, 4369 N. Purdue Rd., Vincennes, IN 47591. This program meets the training requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Cost is $100 and covers course manual, completion certificate, and lunch. Register by going to www.SafeProduceIN.com and clicking on the “Get Trained” option. Participants must pre-register. Registration will be closed on 9/26/18. For more information, contact Scott Monroe at (812) 886-0198.


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…]


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On February 27-28, the Produce Safety Alliance will hold a Water Summit near Cincinnati, OH. The purpose of the summit is to bring together growers, industry, academe, and FDA to discuss the agricultural water provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The summit’s format is similar to PSA’s previously hosted soil summits and includes presentations from FDA, as well as breakout sessions, where participants discuss various aspects of the ag water provisions. Results of breakout groups discussions will be summarized and forwarded to FDA. Extension will be hosting two remote sites in Indiana where attendees can participate in the water summit through distance technology. Presentations will be shown live as they are given at the main site. Additionally, attendees at the remote sites will have the same opportunities to participate in breakout groups and have results of their discussion forwarded to FDA. The remote sites will[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…]


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Rhonda Taylor has recently joined the Department of Food Science, and the Extension food safety team, as Food Science Outreach Extension Specialist and Food Processing Manager. Rhonda obtained her B.S. in Science from the Purdue University School of Agriculture focusing on Ecology and Land Management, as well as an additional A.S. Degree in Applied Science in Biotechnology.  Prior to coming to Extension, she worked as a seed analyst for the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center and as a research technician working with soybeans and canola. Rhonda joined Purdue’s Food Science department in 2013 as a laboratory manager/research assistant in Food Safety with a research focus on food-borne pathogens, primarily in poultry and beef. In her new position, Rhonda will function as the point of contact for Food Science Extension programming. This includes working with the fresh produce industry, homebased vendors, and those interested in food processing validation studies. She[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…]