Fruit, Vegetable Safety Program Set for NE Ohio March 30

January 5, 2012

Note: A previous version of this story listed a higher registration fee. Due to the increased interest in this program, the registration fee has been reduced to $10.

BURTON, Ohio -- A program on preventing microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable farms takes place in northeast Ohio on March 30. Hours are 1-4 p.m. at the Patterson Center, 14269 Claridon-Troy Road, in Burton in Geauga County.

Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPS, for fruit and vegetable production are the focus.

“The Food and Drug Administration will be releasing draft standards for safe production of fruits and vegetables later this year,” said Ashley Kulhanek of Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team, the program’s sponsor. “So it’s a good time to learn about GAPS.”

The instructors will include experts from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Attendees will receive a resource workbook, handouts, details on FamilyFarmed.org’s on-farm food safety planning tool, and a certificate of participation.

But Kulhanek said participants won’t actually become “certified in GAPS” by attending the program. That certification comes only through a farm audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a third-party company. 

“The program can help prepare you for an audit,” she said, “but find out if your customers are asking for education in GAPs or if they actually want an audit certificate, or both.”

Registration is $10 per person at the door, payable by cash or check, with checks made out to “OSP.”

The registration cost is lower than it was for similar programs last year, Kuhlanek said, thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

For more information, contact kulhanek.5@osu.edu or 330-202-3555, ext. 2918.

OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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Author(s): 
Kurt Knebusch
Source(s): 
Ashley Kulhanek