Food safety training program is scheduled

With FDA’s publication of the final Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act, United Fresh is launching a new, multi-faceted training program to assist produce industry members in complying with the regulations.

Both of these regulations will require that companies subject to these regulations have a qualified individual on staff (or consultant) trained to an FDA-approved curriculum. United Fresh will deliver FDA-approved training for growers and fresh-cut processors using curricula from the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) and the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) to address the two different regulations.

United Fresh has scheduled three FSPCA training sessions to train “Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals” under the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule. Individuals who complete this session will receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), and The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), and be qualified to meet standards in the regulation. Members can register for any of the three sessions on the United Fresh website:

•March 1-3, Salinas, CA

•March 14-16, Philadelphia PA

•March 29-31, Orlando FL

United Fresh will also host a “Train-the-Trainer” session for the Preventive Controls Rule, set for April 5-7 in Salinas CA. It is designed for individuals who want to become “Lead Instructors,” which would enable them to the teach the course to colleagues in other company facilities. To attend this course, applicants must submit an application through the IFSH website, listing their educational background and experience to demonstrate ability to become an instructor. After completing the online application, the FSPCA Selection Committee will approve applicants.

United Fresh will also launch grower training to meet requirements under the Produce Safety Rule, once an FDA-approved curriculum is completed. United Fresh and AgSafe, a specialized agricultural educational non-profit organization based in Modesto CA, have formed a partnership to deliver this training.

AgSafe education staff will teach the United Fresh/AgSafe Produce Safety Rule sessions. The partners plan to offer both “qualified individuals” training and “Train-the-Trainer” sessions to comply with the Produce Safety Rule. The schedule for grower training program dates and locations has not yet been set, since the Produce Safety Alliance and FDA are still completing an approved curricula. The partners anticipate beginning training sessions as soon as approved by FDA.

To learn more, go to www.unitedfresh.org.

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