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Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course
Illinois Ag Connection - 01/12/2018

Produce farmers interested in improving operation safety, compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and good agricultural practices are encouraged to attend the upcoming Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) grower training.

The training will be held by the University of Illinois Extension in conjunction with Southern Illinois University (SIU) on Jan. 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, at the SIU Agronomy Research Center, 3268 W. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale, Ill.

The PSA grower training course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in 112.22(c) that requires "at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration."

You can register and find more information at http://go.illinois.edu/PSACarbondale2018.

Compliance dates for this requirement are based on the total amount of food sales for your farm, over a three-year period:

1) Exempt farms -- Farms that have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period less than $25,000 are excluded. However, farms must keep documentation to support the exemption.

2) Very small business -- Businesses with an average annual monetary value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of no more than $250,000 must complete training by Jan. 26, 2020.

3) Small business -- Businesses with an average annual monetary value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of no more than $500,000, and is not a very small business must complete training by Jan. 26, 2019.

4) Other -- Those with an average annual monetary value of produce sold during the previous three-year period over $500,000 must complete training by Jan. 26, 2018.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

The training course costs $110 per person and includes registration, handouts, lunch, and an Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) certificate of completion. Certificates are required for individuals looking to meet the conditions of the FSMA Produce Rule.

PSA grower training manuals will be paid for by a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Food Safety Outreach Grant through Southern Illinois University.

Registration can be completed at http://go.illinois.edu/PSACarbondale2018.

Registration closes on Jan. 18. There are a limited number of seats available for this training. Once the course is full, registration will close.

Cancelation of the registration will forfeit the payment in full. Refunds will not be issued.

Questions can be directed to Laurie George at ljgeorge@illinois.edu or Ruplal Choudhary at choudhry@siu.edu.

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