# Food Safety in Your School Garden Monica Kilcullen Pastor, M. Ed, University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension.

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Food Safety in Your School Garden Monica Kilcullen Pastor, M. Ed, University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension

GOAL: Get healthy kids in front of educators, ready to learn!

School Garden Food Safety The Arizona Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Consultation and Training has funded all or a portion of this project using Specialty Crop Block Grant funds provided by the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service. The views or findings presented are the Grantees and do not necessarily represent those of the State or the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

English Language Arts Standards Reading Informational Text Writing Speaking and Listening Media and Technology Grades 6-12 Literacy History/Social Studies Science and Technical Subjects

Mathematics Standards by Domain Counting and Cardinality Operations and Algebraic Thinking Number and Operations Measurement and Data Geometry Ratios and Proportional Relationships The Number System (Grade 6, 7 & 8) Expressions and Equations (Grade 6, 7 & 8) Functions (Grade 8) Statistics and Probability (Grade 6, 7 & 8)

NGSS – Science & Engineering Practices Ask questions and define problems Develop and use models Plan and carry out investigations Analyze and interpret data Use mathematics and computational thinking Construct explanations and design solutions Engage in argument from evidence Obtain, evaluate and communicate information

Guidelines Designed to reduce the risk of microorganisms contaminating fresh produce grown in school gardens, Provide information about high risk areas for contamination, Do not guarantee the product is free from microbial contamination, but … Verify that the school has taken proactive measures to reduce the risk of contamination by adhering to generally recognized best practices for safe food production and harvest.

Risk Control Plan Implement a documented food safety program Identify a specific person(s) to implement and oversee the food safety program – Garden Manager Document and keep current records Document corrective actions taken

Worker Health and Hygiene Conduct a training program for all workers (students, staff and volunteers ) Ensure potable water is available to all workers Confirm that workers are washing hands before beginning, and returning, to work Ensure that all restroom facilities are cleaned on a regular schedule Require that eating is confined to a designated area separate from where produce is handled If a worker is sick they must not work in the garden Train all workers on the use of machinery including the location of controls to safely start and stop the equipment Workers should be encouraged to wear hats and apply sunscreen while gardening

Land Use Document the history of the land use of the garden Test soil prior to implementing the garden Avoid damaging underground utilities Position the garden away from potential contamination sources such as garbage containers, school animals, utilities, septic systems, and water runoff from playgrounds, roofs, walkways and/or parking areas Use non-toxic, non-leaching materials for raised bed gardens Work with the maintenance staff to ensure they use safe practices on the school grounds near the garden

Water Use Only use potable (suitable for drinking) water Containers used for transporting water need to be sanitized on a regular basis and only used for water Municipal water tests must be acquired from the local water authority on a yearly basis Well water must be tested at least one time during the growing season Surface water must be tested three times during the growing season – first at planting, second at peak use and third at or near harvest Water from rainwater harvesting can only be used on non-edible plants

Soil Amendments Test the soil for lead particles: lead levels should be less than 300 ppm Use commercially available compost School prepared compost must contain only plant products and can only be used on non- edible plants

Pest Control Pests include insects, weeds, animals and fungi Organic methods include traps, mechanical controls, crop selection, non-synthetic chemicals and biological controls

Animal Intrusion Animals need to be excluded from the garden area Monitor for presence of animals Utilize scare balloons, fencing, metallic tape, CDs, tassels or other barriers or deterrents to limit animal access

Pre-Harvest Assessment Review hygiene requirements with workers prior to harvest Closed toe shoes must be worn Ensure toilets and wash facilities are clean and easily accessible from the garden Potable water must be available to the workers Determine if there is evidence of contamination (human or animal) in the garden Isolate contaminated areas and label as no harvest Adults should supervise when harvest begins

Field Sanitation Develop a clean-up procedure in case contamination occurs Discard all plants that are contaminated Check shoes prior to harvest to avoid bringing contaminants into the garden Remove rotten produce periodically

Emergency Clean-up Procedures Develop a clean-up procedure in the event an actual contamination occurs Discard all plants that are contaminated Clean shoes prior to harvesting in other areas of the garden to avoid bringing contaminants into the previously non- contaminated areas

Harvesting Containers & Equipment Food grade plastic gloves are required when harvesting produce Reusable harvest containers should not be made from wood unless lined with clean paper or plastic Reusable harvest containers must be sanitized and in good condition Reusable harvest containers should be kept in a protected area during and after harvest Containers should only be used for harvest New, clean paper or plastic bags are acceptable for one time use harvest containers Shovels, rakes, and other field equipment must be cleaned on a regular basis Knives, scissors and other harvesting equipment must be cleaned prior to use and must only be used in the garden for their designated purposes

Receiving by Cafeteria Staff Verify the harvest containers are clean Do not accept the product if there are odors or evidence of contamination Keep produce from the school garden separate from the commercial produce Weigh the produce to document the harvest Record who, how and where the school garden produce was cleaned

English Language Arts Standards Reading Informational Text Writing Speaking and Listening Media and Technology Grades 6-12 Literacy History/Social Studies Science and Technical Subjects

Mathematics Standards by Domain Counting and Cardinality Operations and Algebraic Thinking Number and Operations Measurement and Data Geometry Ratios and Proportional Relationships The Number System (Grade 6, 7 & 8) Expressions and Equations (Grade 6, 7 & 8) Functions (Grade 8) Statistics and Probability (Grade 6, 7 & 8)

NGSS – Science & Engineering Practices Ask questions and define problems Develop and use models Plan and carry out investigations Analyze and interpret data Use mathematics and computational thinking Construct explanations and design solutions Engage in argument from evidence Obtain, evaluate and communicate information

Monica Pastor mpastor@cals.arizona.edu 602-827-8200 ext. 317

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