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Iowa farmers get help to comply with new produce safety rule

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A collaborative effort has been started between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa State University Extension to help Iowa’s produce growers comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Produce Safety Rule.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says, “A primary goal of the Produce Safety Rule is prevention of food borne illnesses rather than responding to outbreaks. The rule focuses on science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.”

There were ten training sessions held during the past fall and winter, and ten more are pending to start this fall. The trainings are a day long and provide the producers with the tools to follow the law. Over 250 people from 197 Iowa farms have participated in the training programs. Producers that have finished the trainings are eligible for on-farm reviews over the summer. This allows producers to have their operations analyzed through the eyes of the Produce Safety Rule. These reviews are free and voluntary for producers.

Information about the upcoming classroom training and how to register for an on-farm review, as well as other pertinent information about the rule, can be found at https://www.safeproduce.cals.iastate.edu/fda-produce-safety-rule.

Growers can also make inquires to IowaFSMA@iastate.edu or 515-294-6773. They can also contact State Horticulturist Paul Ovrom at paul.ovrom@iowaagriculture.gov or 515-242-6239 or Hannan at jmhannan@iastate.edu or 515-993-4281.

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