Food Safety Modernization Act
Produce Safety Alliance
Grower Training Course Information
About the course:
The Food Safety Grower Training curriculum has been specifically designed to provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices knowledge that includes emphasis on co-management of food safety and environmental management goals, while outlining the requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. It was developed through a nationwide collaboration including produce growers, extension educators, researchers, produce industry representatives and government personnel.
Who Should Attend?
The Grower Training Course is for fruit and vegetable Growers, Harvesters, Packers, Cooler/Holders and others interested in learning about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), co-management of natural resources, produce safety & food safety.
The course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in CFR 21-112.22(c) that requires 'At least one supervisor or responsible party from your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).'
Benefits of Attending the Course:
Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:
- Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
- How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduces risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
- Parts of a Farm Food Safety Plan and how to begin writing one
- Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule
- Receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) verifying completion of course
The course will teach attendees who manage food safety programs and/or food safety professionals the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. The personnel responsible for food safety will then take the course information back to their respective operations and implement the necessary Produce Safety Rule requirements. The food safety professional can then ensure their operation understands and implements the practices outlined in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The course will also help the food safety professional define the specific backup documentation that will be needed to comply with the Produce Safety Rule.
Please contact Norman Barnett at Nbarnett@azda.gov or 602-542-0978 with any questions or concerns.
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Grower Training Course's will be offered at a variety of locations and dates throughout the year. If you are interested in registering for a course please follow the links to the registration forms below noting the date and location of training you are interested in. Registration begins at 7:30 am, the course runs from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and lunch will be provided.
Meet the Team!
PSA Lead Trainers:
Paula Rivadeneira, PhD
Dr. Paula Rivadeneira is an Extension Specialist in Food Safety and Wildlife at the University of Arizona based at the Yuma Agricultural Center. Dr. Rivadeneira serves as a Statewide Food Safety and Wildlife Extension Specialist in Arizona and the Southwest United States. Dr. Rivadeneira earned her BA in Psychology and Spanish from New York University, New York, NY in 1992, her PhD from Auburn University, Auburn, AL in 2006 and conducted a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Food Safety at University of California Davis, CA from 2013-2014. Dr. Rivadeneira joined the University of Arizona in 2014 where she is responsible for research, education, and outreach regarding all aspects of food safety and wildlife, particularly in the area of pre-harvest food safety and animal intrusion. Her specific program includes providing assistance and recommendations related to food safety and wildlife issues for large commercial fresh produce growers, small direct market growers, and school, community, and backyard gardeners. Her lab focuses on microbiological testing of fecal contaminated agricultural matrices and she maintains an active Twitter account @PaulaThePoopDr. Her main goal is to assist fresh produce growers in excluding wildlife and domestic animals from their fields and gardens to prevent potential contamination of fresh produce crops.
Natalie A. Brassill, M.S.
Natalie A. Brassill, M.S. is an Assistant in Extension at the University of Arizona, Maricopa Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, AZ. Ms. Brassill is an Environmental Scientist who conducts Research in Water Quality. She earned her Master’s Degree in Environmental Microbiology from the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2013. Ms. Brassill focuses on research and outreach education in the field of surface water quality used for irrigation and recreation as well as wastewater and water reuse. She has taught lectures in both water quality and food safety including hands on workshops on farm and in classrooms across Arizona. She brings her passion for water and the outdoors to the work that she performs for University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. Ms. Brassill has also conducted research at the Yuma Agriculture Center in the field of fresh produce safety and post-harvest microbiology. She currently works in the field of water quality microbiology pertaining to food safety and conducts state wide research and outreach.
Norman E. Barnett
Norman Barnett is a Training Officer for the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA). Mr. Barnett joined AZDA September 2017 to assist with implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. In this position, Mr. Barnett’s role is to be an educator and trainer and to work state-wide with growers, harvesters, packers and holders. He is an Arizona native, born in Tucson - the Old Pueblo. Mr. Barnett came to the Arizona Department of Agriculture after a 26-year career as the Division Food Safety Manager for Fry’s Food & Drug Stores, owned by the Kroger Company of Cincinnati, OH. He was the corporate liaison with the FDA, USDA and county environmental health agencies for all the Fry’s stores throughout the state of Arizona. He was responsible for food safety, sanitation, pest management, regulatory compliance, the corporate recall program, and all food safety training. Mr. Barnett is credentialed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration--Health & Human Services (FDA-HHS) as an agent commissioned to perform activities in the state of Arizona relating to produce. He is accredited by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) as a Certified Professional--Food Safety (CP-FS). His memberships include the Arizona Environmental Health Association (AZEHA) and NEHA. He also is a certified examination proctor for the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals.
Michael Brown, a Training Officer for Arizona Department of Agriculture, has a diverse background in produce safety through applied science, business management and international development work performed across the USA and internationally in 22 countries. Working at state, national and global levels Mr. Brown effectively managed food safety and product innovation within produce supply chains. Mr. Brown coupled business acumen and scientific training to negotiate partnerships with seven co-pack processors to launch and sell a 12-SKU modified atmosphere packaged (MAP) product line in over 7,500 stores. As an agribusiness consultant with USAID, World Bank, and International Development firms he worked with teams that established the first HTFA and organic fruit exports in the South Pacific; increased value-added produce exports from Albania to northern Europe, and revitalized West African fruit exports to Europe. Recently he managed tropical exports from Central America and Mexico adhering to FSMA Foreign Verification program. Brown is a United Fresh/DuPont Produce Leadership Alum.
Channah Rock, PhD
Dr. Channah Rock is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science and also maintains a joint appointment as a Water Quality Specialist with UA Cooperative Extension. Dr. Rock is PI on several projects relating to microbial evaluation of water quality for the protection of public health as well as promoting water reuse as a safe and practical resource for the Southwest United States. Dr. Rock is based at the Maricopa Agricultural Center and hosts a Statewide Water Quality Research and Extension Program.
In September 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) a five year grant/cooperative agreement to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
Under the Cooperative Agreement, Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) will provide statewide training and outreach for the Produce Safety Rule. The AZDA facilitates the required Produce Safety Alliance – Produce Safety Rule Grower Training (Click here to register). Training staff will also provide one-on-one consultations during a scheduled On-Farm Readiness Review to help farms understand and better comply with the Produce Safety Rule.
The Cooperative Agreement also covers regulatory oversight and compliance, for which the Arizona Department of Agriculture has gained legislative authority after Arizona farmers opted for AZDA inspectors.
The seven major FSMA regulations include:
1. Produce Safety Rule - Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, & Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
2. Preventive Controls for Human Foods
3. Preventive Controls for Animals
4. Foreign Supplier Verification Programs
5. Third Party Accreditation
6. Mitigation of Intentional Adulteration
7. Sanitary Transportation
Produce Safety Rule Questionnaire
Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - Produce Safety Rule, the Arizona Department of Agriculture is required to provide training, inspections, and collect information to maintain a current farm inventory. In order to complete the following three requirements we need your help! The following questionnaire will help us to obtain current and accurate information as well as the ability to assess stakeholders needs. Please take a moment to fill out the form online or download the questionnaire below to print and fax the document to 602.542.0898.
Download the questionnaire
The On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a non-regulatory, confidential assessment of a farm's readiness for compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. It is an excellent opportunity for fruit and vegetable growers to determine how their practices align with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). A Produce Safety Rule expert from our team will schedule a time to meet with you to walk-through your operation and have a one-on-one discussion about your practices. Be sure to ask any questions about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule at this time. The OFRR is meant to help you determine areas of risk that you can improve upon, therefore, it will be important for us to evaluate any preharvest, harvest and post-harvest activities to assess what you are doing well and identify areas of improvement. Keep in mind that the focus of the walk around is to discuss food safety practices, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR).
The OFRR review team will consist of a member of the Arizona Department of Agriculture and a member of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. On some occasions we may request that another team member from either of our organizations join us for the OFRR as a training opportunity. If requested in advance, you do have the option to have a representative from the Food and Drug Administration join the review and may ask your Produce Safety Rule expert to set this up. The OFRR is a great opportunity for everyone to learn about the intersection of on-farm practices with the Produce Safety Rule.
Prior to the Review:
It is required that someone from your operation has attended the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Grower Training prior to scheduling an On-Farm Readiness Review. If you have not attended this course yet and need to register click here. This will help you get the most out of the review and will allow us to discuss your practices as they pertain to the Produce Safety Rule. We encourage you to think through your food safety practices and be prepared to ask any questions you may have about how your practices align with the Rule.
To help prepare you and the review team for a successful visit, the Lead Reviewer will be calling the food safety representative to discuss a few details regarding the operation. This is an opportunity for you to let us know of any special concerns or additional information we need to know prior to our arrival. During this call, the Lead Reviewer may ask other information about your farm including: commodities grown, meeting location, biosecurity requirements, visitor policies, activities occurring on the operation, number of years in production. At this time the Lead Reviewer will also schedule the time and date of the review.
Day of the Review:
Once the reviewers arrive on the farm, they will meet with the food safety representative to quickly go over the plan for the review. The schedule for the walk-through will be based on what activities are occurring that day. Below are sections which are typically observed and discussed by the OFRR team during the day of the review. If some sections are not relevant to your operation, then the reviewer will not cover this information with you, yet you will receive the OFRR Manual which does cover all sections in detail.
Sections on the Review:
- Worker Health and Hygiene
- Biological Soil Amendments
- Wildlife and Domestic Animals
- Pre and Post-Harvest Sanitation
- Agricultural Water
The OFRR program was designed to educate the farmer on the inspection process and provide a level of comfort with the new requirements imposed by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. At the end of the review, the Reviewers will provide their top three suggestions for the farm to improve its food safety practices. Afterwards, the farmer is connected with educational materials and resources to assist with solutions to achieve compliance with FSMA. The entire review is confidential and careful consideration has been given to protecting farm information, therefore all notes will be left with you.
Once your has completed the On-Farm Readiness Review, click the link below to complete an anonymous survey.
Inspection and Compliance
Arizona State law and Federal law has established science-based minimum standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fresh fruits and vegetables for human consumption. Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) will be conducting scheduled inspections beginning the Summer of 2019.
AG Water (Proposed)
Very Small (>$25K-$250K)
*Produce includes fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, tree nuts, and herbs
Is your farm covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? In order to determine if the law applies to your farm, please click the following link.
- If your produce is for personal on-farm consumption, then your produce is not covered by the Federal Produce Safety regulation.
- If the only produce you grow is defined by FDA as a "rarely consumed raw", then your produce is exempt from the Rule (what is considered "rarely consumed raw" by FDA).
- If your farm on average had less than $500,000 annual food sales (Note: food sales includes food grains such as hay, alfalfa, wheat, produce, processed food, etc.) for the last three years and a majority of the food is sold directly to qualified end-users, then your farm could be eligible for a qualified exemption.
- If your farm on average had more than $25,000 in annual produce sales in the last three years, then you are covered by the Rule.
- If your produce is intended from commercial processing that adequeately reduces harmful microorganizms, then your produce could be eligible for exemption.
Alexander L. Funk, M.S.
Alex Funk, a Produce Safety Rule Inspector for the Arizona Department of Agriculture, has received and continues to receive extensive Produce Safety certifications, credentials and trainings. Mr. Funk has a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology and Ecology inclusive of Barrett Honors College completion, and a Master's of Science in Biomimicry from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Alex has spent many years in the food service industry and has worked as a USDA microscopy screener and trapper in Plant Quarantine and Protection as well as a USDA Range Technician for the Animal Plan Health and Inspection Service. He has also worked for the Arizona Game and Fish, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and others. He has spent his life as an Arizona resident and has been exposed to agricultural systems since childhood. Alex has studied population and systems modeling, biological and chemical engineering as well as the ethical emulation of natural strategies and mechanisms, for the purposes of anthropogenic solvency, also known as Biomimicry. He is currently working toward a PhD in Agricultural Engineering at Arizona State University.
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