Feb 18, 2019
Click here to read the entire article to learn more about what greenhouse growers can do to lower the risk of contamination. This article was published in the February edition of Produce Grower, written by Lisa Lupo.
Feb 5, 2019
What Food Safety Class is Best for You?
This article describes some of the food safety trainings available in Ohio by The Ohio State University Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team.
Dec 19, 2018
Sanja Ilic,PhD-Assistant Professor and Food Safety State Specialist at OSU. Sanja has been a member of the OSU Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team since 2007. Sanja is located in Columbus, and her focus in her research and extension work is on fresh produce food safety. Sanja works with a diverse group of produce growers including small and medium farmers, plain growers, hydroponic, urban, and minimal processors. Sanja feels that consumption of produce is of critical importance for human health.
Oct 31, 2018
Jerry Iles-Extension Educator Fairfield County
Jerry has been a member of the OSU Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team since 2014. Jerry focuses on local foods and serves produce growers in Farifield County that sell directly to the public via farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) as well as a small Plain (Amish) community that sells at the weekly Bremen Produce Auction produce auction. Jerry says that being a member of the OSU Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team is important in his role as a county Extension Educator so that he can offer Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training for local producers that wish to sell at area farmers markets and produce auctions. In addition to providing support for local foods and CSA's Jerry specializes in watershed management and water quality issues and land use planning issues.
Sep 21, 2018
Lindsey Pender is our newest member of the Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team. An undeniable passion for agriculture born from a lifetime on the ranch was the motivating factor for Lindsey to pursue a Master of Extension Education at Colorado State University and cultivate a career in producer education and assistance. Although her undergraduate degree is in Animal Science (from CSU Chico), Lindsey has proven herself a valuable asset in food safety education and outreach. She is a Produce Safety Alliance FSMA Grower Trainer, FSMA On-Farm Readiness Review Assessor, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) trainer. She is also certified in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Lindsey has experience working with underserved populations and will be coordinating fresh produce safety trainings for these communities in Ohio. She will also be coordinating Food Safety Plan Writing Workshops and On-farm Audit Readiness reviews. When not working with producers or developing outreach materials, Lindsey's time is usually occupied by her husband, three children, and dog. She also enjoys hiking, exploring, and artistic pursuits.
May 15, 2018
Development of an Education and Outreach Program to Assist Fresh Produce Growers with Meeting Food Safety Requirements
Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey, Dr. Sanja Ilic, Ivory Harlow and members of the fruit and vegetable safety team were awarded a OSU Conenct and Collaborate grant to develop food safety plan writing workshops and on-farm audit readiness programming for growers in Ohio and bordering counties in West Virginia and Kentucky. In addition pre-harvest food safety knowledge and awareness training for new and underserved produce growers in the community wil be delivered. Project partners include The Wallace Center, North Central Region Center for FSMA Training, Extension, and Technical Service (NCRFSE), National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA), The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC)-Outlying Branches, and The Ohio State University’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT). For more information on the project contact Dr. Lewis Ivey or Dr. Sanja Ilic.
Fresh produce is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the country and Ohio growers must meet federal food safety standards to ensure that their produce is safe. Understanding regulatory requirements, awareness of safe agricultural practices, and developing and following written food safety plans (FSP) are critical steps toward minimizing the risk of on farm produce contamination. OSU lags behind other land grant universities in providing fresh produce safety education and training programs. In addition, stakeholder awareness of fresh produce safety programming available at OSU is low compared to their awareness of programming in other states. We have formed a team of Food Safety State Specialists, Extension educators, and community organizations to provide a diverse group of Ohio growers with the tools and resources needed to supply consumers with a safe product. To address these needs, we will provide: i) pre-harvest food safety knowledge and awareness training to new and underserved produce growers in the community; ii) farm food safety plan writing workshops and on-farm audit readiness programs; and iii) a roadmap for an OSU food safety training program for FSMA equivalence. In order to achieve our goal in improving fresh produce safety and sustaining the fresh produce industry, we will form a fresh produce safety education and training cooperative with participating food safety experts from Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Dec 17, 2017
Food Safety Education and Outreach Programming for Plain Growers
Dr. Sanja Ilic and Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey were awarded a $200 000 USDA-NIFA grant to develop food safety programming for Plain produce growers in Ohio. The programming will be extended to Plain communities in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The grant includes a regional conference to be held in Ohio in 2019. A summary of the project is provided below.
Food safety education continues to be a challenge for limited-resource populations. Although Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania are home to over half of the Amish population in the US, state educucational programs are often generic and don’t adequately address specific needs of the Amish. A stakeholder roundtable meeting identified the need for GAPs training that is more relevant to farming practices utilized by Plain growers. While many Plain growers have participated in GAPs trainings in the past and are aware of on-farm food safety hazards, it is evident that program content and delivery methods should be modified to better meet the needs of Plain growers. The objectives of this proposals are to: 1) develop GAPs training adressing the unique farming and handling practices and communication requirements of Plain growers, 2) pilot Plain grower GAPs with distinct settlements in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan (tri-state), and 3) share materials with Plain grower populations through North Central Region Center for FSMA Training. Plain grower GAPs training will be culturally adapted, consider sociolinguistic characteristics and consist entirely of practices utilized by Plain growers. The materials will be designed for settings without electricity. User-friendly presentation materials and food safety plan and recordkeeping templates will be developed for Plain growers. The training will be piloted by Plain growers across the tristate and complement on-going food safety trainings in these states. Completion of this project will allow us to reach a larger number of Plain growers ensuring a greater impact on fresh produce safety in the tri-state region.
Dec 17, 2017
Food Safety Planning Down on the Farm: Examples from Ohio Certified Organic Farms
This report can help you understand what it means to develop a farm food safety plan and meet new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety rules. Food Safety Planning Down on the Farm: Examples from Ohio Certified Organic Farms features case studies of eight vegetable and fruit farms of various scales and serving diverse markets. The publication identifies challenges that these farms faced in developing their own food safety plans and explores what changes they made to reduce their risk. Whether or not you are certified organic, OEFFA hopes you'll see yourself in these profiles, be able to take away new ideas, and feel less intimidated by food safety planning and costs.
Dec 13, 2017
January 15-17, 2018
Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Sandusky, Ohio
Featured Speakers include Dr. Phil Tocco (Michigan State Univeristy), Matt Fout (Ohio Department of Agriculture), Mike Kauffman (The Ohio State University), Dr. Sanja Ilic (The Ohio State University), and Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey (The Ohio State University). For a list of our speaker's presentation topics and for information on Produce Safety Alliance Trainings that will be offered during the Ohio Produce Network click here. To learn more about registration and programming click here.
Jan 11, 2017
The FDA has created a helpful decision tree / flow chart to help farmers determine if their farm falls under an exemption or if it is regulated under the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Click the image to find out more.