Colorado produce growers can benefit from a grant the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) received from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Department has partnered with Colorado State University (CSU) Extension to offer a variety of resources to help farmers comply with the newly implemented Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
CDA will use the funding to establish a Produce Safety Program to encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables and to promote compliance with the requirements of FDA's Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule was published as one of several rules under FSMA in November 2015, and the largest farms will need to comply beginning in January 2018.
CDA encourages all farmers, food processors, food transportation businesses, importers, and food safety professionals to educate themselves about FSMA, which affects produce growers, food manufacturers (human and animal), food transportation, and imported food. The goal of FSMA is to work to prevent food-borne illnesses.
"Education and preparedness for Colorado producers about the Produce Safety Rule is our top priority." said Cristy Dice, Produce Safety Rule Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "We are working closely with Colorado State University Extension to provide training and outreach materials to address the specific needs of Colorado's diverse producers."
CDA and CSU will be offering training classes across Colorado in the near future. Educational materials and a training schedule will be available online at www.coproducesafety.org. CDA will also be contacting produce farmers to share information about the Produce Safety Rule.
For more information on the FSMA Produce Safety Rule visit: https://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/fsma/ucm334114.htm or http://coproducesafety.org