Notes from the Food Safety sessions, concluding the WSTFA hort show.
Industry experts are still wading through the regulations imposed under the Food Safety Modernization act, but they all say growers, handlers and packers should stay tuned for training sessions in the months ahead.
Miriam Burbach, FDA health communications specialist, stressed that the initial focus will be education rather than enforcement.
Meanwhile, the Produce Safety Alliance offers one FDA-approved training session and is working to develop other training modules, and the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association also are working to provide food safety training sessions.
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association will be offering educational workshops on FSMA rules over the next two years.
FSMA will likely result in the need for changes in grower and packer operations, but operations will not be starting from scratch.
Instead, they will be strengthening and adding to food safety measures they have already implemented and follow, says Kate Woods of the Northwest Horticultural Council.
– by Shannon Dininny