food safety

Food Safety Modernization Act

Farm food safety begins with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs): the basic environmental and operational conditions that are necessary for the production of safe fruits and vegetables.

Farmers need to take steps to minimize pathogen contamination during production and harvest of their fresh produce. They should avoid side-dressing with manure, exclude animals near fields, promote proper worker hygiene in the field, test irrigation water quality, select irrigation methods that minimize crop wetting or allow for leaves to dry quickly, clean and sanitize harvest bins, promote cleanliness at U-Pick, and keep produce cool.

As consumers demand safer food, a growing number of retailers are requiring farmers to have independent, 3rd-party inspections of farms, certifying that their fruits and vegetables are being grown, harvested and packaged using Good Agricultural Practices.

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The Sullivan County Food Safety Outreach Program expands existing Food Safety educational and outreach efforts by working with our stakeholders to increase technical assistance to producers exempt from the Produce Safety Rule, increase food safety training opportunities available to small and medium-sized farms, provide additional resources to producers covered by the Produce Safety Rule, and provide training and consulting opportunities for producers seeking a third-party Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) audit, by building the capacity of CCESC.

The long-term goals are to increase:

  • # of producers with food safety knowledge,
  • # of food safety training and workshop participants,
  • # of producers with Food Safety Plans and GAP audits,
  • # of producers participating in the NYS Grown and Certified program and the number of producers selling to the Catskills Food Hub.

The end result will be an increase in retail and wholesale markets for producers, while providing a safe, nutritious, and secure food supply for consumers to purchase farm-fresh products; preventing foodborne illnesses, protecting public health, and providing access to safe and nutritious food for low-income communities.

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FSMA/GAP RESOURCES

Produce Safety Alliance Website

Grower Training Course Information

Upcoming Grower Trainings

Farm Food Safety Plan Writing Resources

Approved Water Testing Facilities for FSMA/GAP map

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We want to highlight that we have funding available to provide consulting to farms to prepare for a third-party Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit.

If you are interested in working with CCE Sullivan to gain compliance, obtain further certifications or reach additional wholesale markets available, we are here and trained to help you.

Please contact the CCE Sullivan office at 845-292-6180 and ask to speak with someone from the Ag Department or email, Michelle Proscia, Ag Educator, at mml249@cornell.edu

Last updated December 8, 2020