Feb 4, 2020
Food safety workshops for two levels of experience set in Maryland

The Maryland Food Safety Network, comprised of the University of Maryland and The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), will be hosting a series of one-day workshops geared toward produce safety this winter. Two levels of training will be held to service farmers both in beginner and experienced stages of constructing their on-farm food safety programs; Basic Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training and Advanced GAP training. You can register for any of the workshops by going to psla.umd.edu/extension/produce-safety.

The Basic GAPs Training is designed to help beginning farmers construct their food safety plans modeled after the MDA GAP audit. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops, but additional laptops will be available. During the workshop, the basics of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) will be discussed, as well as how to make a risk assessment and writing standard operating procedures.

The Advanced GAPs Training is designed for those farmers working with a current written food safety plan and are pursuing USDA GAP/GHP, Harmonized, or Harmonized Plus audits, or those producers who would like more in-depth guidance to streamline food safety programs on the farm. During these trainings, pertinent updates to the Produce Safety Rule will be conveyed. Other topics covered will include: a summary of common mistakes in last year’s audit rounds, in-depth water quality assessment, biological soil amendment handling, and hygienic design of equipment.

Winter trainings will be hosted around Maryland in February and March to prepare producers for the 2020 field season. Workshops do require registration to attend. Workshops cost between $10 and $25 and will include lunch, educational materials, and a certificate of completion. Dates and locations for both workshop series are:

Basic GAP Lower Shore Tuesday, February 25th, 2020, 8:30- 4:00 p.m. Wicomico County Extension Office | 28647 Old Quantico Rd, Salisbury, MD 21802-1836.

Basic GAP Northern Maryland Tuesday, March 17th , 2020, 8:30- 4:00 p.m. Baltimore County Extension Office | 1114 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030.

Advanced GAP Western Maryland Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, 8:30- 4:00 p.m. – Frederick County Extension Office | 330 Montevue Lane Frederick, MD 21702.

Advanced GAP Mid-Shore Friday, February 28th 2020, 8:30- 4:00 p.m. Eastern Shore Hospital Center | 5262 Woods Road, Cambridge, MD 21613.

Advanced GAP Central Maryland Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, 8:30- 4:00 p.m. Maryland Department of Agriculture | 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway Annapolis, MD 21401.

To register for any event in this series, go to psla.umd.edu/extension/produce-safety.

It is important to note that attending these trainings does not suffice the regulatory requirement § 112.22(c) of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. A separate training addresses this, which can be found at the above link under “PSA Produce Safety Rule Training.”

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