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The New Food Safety Law Will Affect Your Farm Business – An Overview Mary Lamberts UF Miami-Dade County Extension.

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Presentation on theme: "The New Food Safety Law Will Affect Your Farm Business – An Overview Mary Lamberts UF Miami-Dade County Extension."— Presentation transcript:


2 The New Food Safety Law Will Affect Your Farm Business – An Overview Mary Lamberts UF Miami-Dade County Extension

3 Overview of the Presentation Why are food safety regulations for fruits & vegetables important? How will the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) affect my farm and packinghouse? Components of an on-farm food safety program: Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) FSMA/GAPs resources

4 What is Food Safety? Food safety is the science of keeping food safe from farm to fork Safe food is free of all biological, chemical, physical and environmental hazards or contaminations For the consumer, this means produce is safe to eat Food safety describes the conditions and practices that are used to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses

5 Why is Food Safety Important? Foodborne illness is a significant problem About 48 million (1 in 6 Americans) get sick each year 128,000 are hospitalized 3,000 die Immune-compromised individuals more susceptible Infants and children, pregnant women, older individuals, those on chemotherapy Source: CDC 2011 Report: foodborne-estimates.html

6 Why is Food Safety Important? 2012 Produce Outbreaks Spinach and spring mix (?) – 5 states Escherichia coli O157:H7 Mangoes (Mexico) – 15 states Salmonella Braenderup Cantaloupe – 24 states Salmonella Typhimurium and Newport Raw clover sprouts, restaurant chain – 11 states (2 facilities, but 1 seed lot) Escherichia coli O26

7 Why is Food Safety Important? 2011 Produce Outbreaks Romaine lettuce (salad bar; 1 farm, 1 distributor) – 10 states Escherichia coli O157:H7 Turkish pine nuts – 5 states Salmonella Enteritidis Colorado Cantaloupes – 28 states 147 illnesses; 30 deaths Listeria monocytogenes Papayas (Mexico) – 25 states Salmonella Agona

8 Why is Food Safety Important? 2011 Produce Outbreaks (cont.) Alfalfa and spicy sprouts (Idaho) Salmonella Enteritidis Travel to Germany - Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104 Acknowledged to be one of the most inept government investigations in recent history Associated (eventually) with German sprouts but in the meantime, destroyed the Spanish cucumber industry for the season Guatemalan Cantaloupe – 10 states Salmonella Panama ( tml)

9 Why YOU need to worry about food safety Examples of earlier outbreaks, including costs

10 2006 – E. coli: 5 people died; 205 were hospitalized across 23 states The outbreak ended up costing the spinach industry $350 million, and a large number of customers 1 year later, sales of spinach nationally were still down by 20% Spinach

11 DateCropPathogenCases Oct-00Cherry tomatoesCalicivirus34 May-01TomatoesShigella flexneri886 Jul-02Tomatoes Salmonella Javiana 141 Jun-04TomatoesSalmonella spp.429 Jun-04TomatoesS. Braenderup125 Jul-04TomatoesS. Javiana7 Sept-06TomatoesSamonella spp.172 Sept-06TomatoesSalmonella Typhimurium 183 Outbreaks on Tomatoes: 2000 - 2005

12 1 month after the erroneous tomato warning, FDA issued one for peppers A total of 1,400 people were reported as infected, though the number was probably much higher The cost to the tomato industry was $100 million in Florida and $14 million in Georgia Tomatoes 2008 Salmonella Stpaul outbreak CDC first learned about the it May 22, 2008 when there were 19 cases

13 2011 – Raw clover sprouts: A total of 25 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 have been reported from 8 states 2010 – Clover & alfalfa sprouts: 2 outbreaks with 7 + 140 sickened with Salmonella serotype I4,[5],12:i: 2009 – Alfalfa sprouts: 256 sickened by six isolates of Salmonella Saintpaul Sprouts

14 What else do we know about food safety?

15 What Type of Produce Makes People Sick? Source: Food Safety Begins on the Farm

16 Sources of Outbreaks from Produce Source: Food Safety Begins on the Farm

17 Pathogens in Produce Outbreaks Source: Food Safety Begins on the Farm Since then, Listeria has been found on some netted melons. This is a very dangerous pathogen since it has a high mortality rate

18 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

19 How will FSMA affect my farm and packinghouse? Who will be covered? The proposed rule will apply to farms that grow harvest pack or hold most fruits and vegetables when those fruits and vegetables are in their raw or natural (unprocessed) state

20 How will FSMA affect my farm and packinghouse? Who will be covered? The proposed rule will not apply to certain produce: produce that is rarely consumed raw (potatoes, asparagus, bok choy and cranberries) produce that will receive processing that kills pathogens produce for personal or on-farm consumption

21 How will FSMA affect my farm and packinghouse? Who will be covered? The proposed rule will not apply to farms that only sell directly to their consumers (CSA, farmers markets, etc.) Despite this FSMA exemption for farms and individuals who sell directly to consumers, everyone who sells fresh produce must comply with 3 parts of this law: a. Develop and implement a food safety plan b. Have a written traceability plan for at least one step forward and one step back c. Implement an employee training program that includes food safety & personal hygiene

22 What would the proposed standards cover? They would focus on commonly identified routes of microbial contamination of produce, including: 1. Agricultural water 2. Farm worker hygiene 3. Manure and other additions to the soil 4. Animals in growing areas, and 5. Equipment, tools and buildings There are also specific proposed standards for sprouts

23 Source: FDA webinar 2-17-13






29 Which are you? If I wait long enough these pesky regulations will go away... Ooops! It looks like I waited too long to write my food safety plan and now my farm is out of business

30 Guiding Principles of Food Safety for Fresh Produce Keys to Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Examples of how to implement a food safety program

31 Basic Principle of GAPs Growers and packers must do everything possible to prevent contamination It is extremely difficult to clean and disinfect produce surfaces once they are contaminated There is the potential for pathogens to move inside produce during postharvest operations If you dont write it down, you didnt do it

32 Food Safety: What You Can Do Now Practical, realistic ways to start your food safety program

33 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 1. Water Use clean water for everything Irrigation Water to mix with fertilizers or pesticides Water for washing produce Water for cleaning harvest equipment Wherever water comes into contact with fresh produce, its quality dictates the potential for pathogen contamination. FDA How clean is clean? Meets drinking water standards Tested every year

34 Use Potable Water to Wash Produce

35 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 2. Manure & Municipal Biosolids Use manures and biosolids following FDA guidelines Avoid low growing crops, especially leafy greens Observe requirements for the time between application of manures & biosolids and planting specific crops GAPs for the use of animal manure or biosolids include treatments to reduce pathogens and maximizing the time between application to production areas and harvest of the crops. FDA

36 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 3. Worker Health & Hygiene Be aware of personal health & hygiene Dont work when youre sick or let employees work when theyre sick Train employees in proper hand washing & when it must be done Make sure any cuts are covered or send the employee home if they cant be covered Infected employees who work with fresh produce increase the risk of transmitting foodborne illnesses. FDA

37 Workers Must not work when they are sick. Should wash hands often Must not pick contaminated produce

38 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 4. Sanitary Facilities Provide toilet and hand washing facilities Make sure employees use provided toilets Hand washing facilities should be outside bathrooms Toilets need a sewage disposal system Field sinks must be able to collect used water Infected employees who work with fresh produce increase the risk of transmitting foodborne illnesses. FDA

39 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 5. Field Sanitation Clean, clean, clean Clean harvest bins before use & before storing Clean harvesting equipment such as knives or clippers before use & before storing If produce is field washed or packed, make sure it stays clean Remove as much as dirt as possible before leaving the field Do not eat, chew gum or smoke in the field Leave pets at home!

40 Equipment and Containers Clean knives and picking buckets or boxes often. Use new plastic bags, etc. Wash everything at the end of the day & store off the ground

41 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 6. Packing Facility Sanitation Wash, rinse, and sanitize packing areas and floors at the end of each day Dont eat or smoke in the packing area Dont wear field clothes in the packing area Use chlorine or another sanitizer in the wash water Change the wash water if it gets dirty Make sure bathrooms & hand washing sinks are used

42 Keep Produce at Proper Temperatures Temperatures vary by product

43 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 7. Transportation Make sure vehicles & containers used to transport produce are clean Maintain proper temperatures

44 Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) 7. Traceback The ability to track food items, including fresh produce, back to their source Your records should include: date of harvest farm identification who handled the produce from grower to receiver GAPs information from ANR Publication 8102

45 Documentation: Write It Down! Dates What you did Who was there If its not written, you didnt do it

46 Food Safety for Small Farms Is Impossible to Standardize BUT that doesnt mean we shouldnt or cant do it. Now is the time to start Regardless of the scale: from legislation to implementation, it is a work in progress

47 Some FSMA / GAPs Resources FSMA: default.htm default.htm FDA Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: anceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/Prod uceandPlanProducts/UCM169112.pdf anceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/Prod uceandPlanProducts/UCM169112.pdf

48 Some FSMA / GAPs Resources USDA GAPs Audit Programs: National GAPs website: http://www.gaps.cornell.edu University of Floridas food safety website: (includes Florida- specific Tomato GAPs, and other information)

49 Some FSMA / GAPs Resources University of California-Davis food safety website: includes commodity-specific food safety guidance for: cantaloupe culinary herbs green onions leafy greens tomatoes

50 How Do I Develop a Food Safety Plan The grant received by the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida includes funding for workshops for both fruit and vegetable growers to help them develop their own plans Check this website for more information: You can also use this website: http://miami- You must check with the companies that buy your products to see what they require, then develop a plan

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