1. Collaborating with CropKing Inc to identify food safety hazards associated with growing hydroponic leafy greens

    Meet Our Team Members: Dr. Sanja Ilic

    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.

  2. Jerry Iles training growers in Fairfiled County

    Meet Our Team Members: Jerry Iles

    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.

  3. OSU Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team Awarded OSU Connect and Collaborate Grant

    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.

    Project Summary
    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.

  4. OSU Awarded Food Safety Education Grant

    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.

    Project Summary

    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.

  5. OEFFA Publishes Article on Food Safety Planning Down on the Farm

    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.

  6. Ohio Produce Network (previously OPGMA Congress)

    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.

  7. Covered by Food Safety Law or Exempt? How to Decide?

    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.

  8. PSA - Grower Training Course - MAY 31

    May 4, 2017

    GROWER TRAINING COURSE May 31, 2017OARDC Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building, Room 200
    1680 Madison Ave, Wooster, OH 44691
    Lead Trainer: Beth Scheckelhoff, The Ohio State University Trainers: Sanja Ilic and Melanie Lewis Ivey, The Ohio State University

    Who Should Attend

  9. New Infographics available

    Jan 26, 2017

    Infographics are a quick visual way to convey information.  Check out the new infographics for produce safety statistics and for determining if a farm qualifies for FSMA regulations or is exempt.  Available in both English and Spanish languages.

  10. Food Safety Modernization Act Video

    Jan 11, 2017