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Online Produce Safety Rule training offered to farmers

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is offering virtual food safety training, to help produce farmers comply with the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). In-person training was suspended earlier this year, to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Farms covered by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) PSR are required to have at least one person attend an approved food safety class. The DATCP, in cooperation with the Produce Safety Alliance, is offering two, eight-hour, two-day online courses, that meet FSMA and PSR requirements.

The courses will be held Nov. 17-18, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Dec. 15-16, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The courses will help produce growers understand how their farm’s practices stack up against PSR regulations. Farmers also will learn more about exceptions and exemptions available under the rule.

The course will cover key areas of the PSR, including introduction to produce safety; worker health, hygiene and training; soil amendments; wildlife, domesticated animals and land use; agricultural water; post-harvest handling and sanitation; and developing a farm food safety plan.

The course is free, but attendees must register at least two weeks before the course date, at Participants must be able to engage through video and audio during the training, so access to a reliable internet connection, and a computer or tablet with AV capabilities, is critical.

After attending the course, participants can request an Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) Certificate of Completion, which satisfies a key requirement for farms covered by the PSR.