Dec 11, 2018
FSMA Produce Safety Rule requires farm worker training once per year

When produce growers think about implementing food safety on the farm, the first thing that usually pops into their mind is records. Very few records, however, are required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

One particular area where fairly detailed records are required is in the area of worker training.

Part 112.21 (a) of the Food Safety Modernization Act states that all farm workers who handle covered produce or food contact surfaces must receive adequate training at least once annually. As stated in part 112.22 (a), this training program must cover three general topics:

  • The principles of food hygiene and food safety.
  • The importance of health and personal hygiene. This includes recognizing symptoms of a health condition that could result in direct or indirect contamination of produce.
  • Other standards in the FSMA that are relevant to the farm worker’s job.

Farm workers need to know how to maintain adequate personal cleanliness. That includes when and how to properly wash their hands.

At the end of the training, the date, topics covered and people trained must be recorded (112.30). In addition, every farm worker should sign a form stating they’ve read and fully understand the policies.

RELATED: Produce Safety Rule compliance issued for small businesses

The Michigan State University Extension has put together a short video on FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements. A robust food safety culture on-farm depends on regular training of farm workers, as well as continuing education at conferences and field days.

If you have difficulty tailoring GAPs to your farm or would like to learn more about FSMA record-keeping requirements, contact the Agrifood Safety Work Group at [email protected] or 517-788-4292. You can get a copy of a worker training log sheet template.

Funding for this article was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in the written materials do not necessarily reflect the official policies if the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices or organization imply endorsement by the United States government.

– Alison Work and Phillip ToccoMichigan State University Extension






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