Recognizing Innovators in Food Security

Jim Rogers Awards, Food Safety

UPL, a global agricultural solutions company, recently announced the Allies for Agriculture initiative. The program was created to recognize those who are advancing and transforming agriculture to ensure food security. Nominations are being accepted here, and winners will be announced on a bimonthly basis beginning in July 2022. In addition to recognizing the contributions that each winner has made, UPL …

Georgia Citrus Association Emphasizing Food Safety

Jim Rogers Citrus, Food Safety, Georgia

One bad apple can spoil the bunch. The same can be said for Georgia citrus. That was the message shared by Beth Oleson, director of food safety and education for the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, during the Georgia Citrus Association’s (GCA) annual meeting on Feb. 28. She spoke with growers about food safety and applauded GCA’s leadership. “We …

Focus on Australian Citrus Safety

Jim Rogers Citrus, Export/Import, Food Safety, International

Citrus Australia reported on a new project focused on food safety in citrus. The project aims to mitigate microbial food-safety risks associated with the production, postharvest handling and supply of citrus to consumers in domestic and export markets. S.P. Singh with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries will lead the project. The Australian citrus industry exports oranges and …

Produce Safety Rule Inspections: What You Need to Know

Tacy Callies Food Safety

By Taylor O’Bannon, Matt Krug, Michelle Danyluk, Chelsea Peebles and Kirby Quam Produce Safety Rule (PSR) inspections conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are continuing throughout the state as compliance dates for all farm sizes have now passed. The industry is also nearing the compliance date set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for …

Keeping Food Contact Surfaces Safe

Tacy Callies Food Safety, Tip of the Week

By Matt Krug, Michelle Danyluk and Taylor O’Bannon Basic cleaning and sanitizing steps implemented on food contact surfaces are fundamental for reducing the risk of cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens during citrus harvest and post-harvest. While these steps may seem straightforward, several variables can influence effective implementation. A regular review of practices can ensure your operation is set up for success. …

Stay Vigilant on Handwashing and Hygiene

Tacy Callies Food Safety, Tip of the Week

By Taylor O’Bannon, Michelle Danyluk and Matt Krug If you visited any public building or restroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have noticed an increased focus on handwashing and hygiene principles reflected in an abundance of signage on doors and in hallways. While it is great that public awareness has increased in the last 18 months, these have always …

FDACS Cost-Share Program for Food Safety

Ernie Neff financial, Food Safety

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is offering a cost-share program for producers of specialty crops who obtain food-safety certification. Producers who obtained food-safety certification for specialty crop products (fruits, vegetables or tree nuts) through several programs could be eligible for reimbursement of 75% of certification costs, up to $1,500 per producer. Programs include the U.S. Department …

Proving COVID-19 Isn’t Foodborne

Ernie Neff COVID-19, Food Safety

When the COVID-19 pandemic became news in the United States early this year, some consumers and others wondered if it might be spread by food or food packaging. Food scientist Michelle Danyluk says there is no epidemiological evidence that COVID-19 is spread that way. “But epidemiological evidence isn’t the same as hard science data,” she adds. Consequently, she and other …

Food Safety in Light of COVID-19

Tacy Callies COVID-19, Food Safety

With millions of American workers staying home to aid public health efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the security of America’s food supply is more important than ever before. It’s crucial that growers are taking the appropriate measures to ensure food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of …

Fresh Fruit Safety: Worker Training

Ernie Neff Food Safety

Fresh citrus workers need to be trained in health and hygiene in order to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule. Jamie Burrow provided that training at an all-day training session for growers earlier this year at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). Burrow is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) …

food safety

Safety Training Addresses a Stinky Situation

Ernie Neff Food Safety

“If you see poo on it, don’t pick it.” That advice from citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt summarized a portion of training aimed at helping fresh citrus growers comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The section addressed wildlife and domestic animals in groves. The Produce Safety Rule is a key part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Oswalt was …

town hall

COVID-19 and Food Safety: Facts vs. Fiction

Ernie Neff Food Safety

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) experts want to help dispel a media-dispersed untruth about COVID-19. UF/IFAS scientists offering accurate information and food safety tips to the citrus industry about COVID-19 include Travis Chapin, Michelle Danyluk, Renee Goodrich Schneider and Keith Schneider. According to the UF/IFAS scientists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food …

field heatrings

Public Field Hearings on Seasonal and Perishable Produce Postponed

Daniel Cooper Agriculture, Florida, Food Safety, Georgia, Industry News Release

(USTR) — Consistent with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the field hearings scheduled in Florida and Georgia on April 7 and April 9 by the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date. Interested parties are still encouraged to submit written comments and information …

Keeping Fresh Citrus Safe

Ernie Neff Food Safety

Michelle Danyluk describes training that was provided Feb. 11 to help fresh citrus growers comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. Danyluk is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) professor and Extension specialist at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). She and several other UF/IFAS faculty conducted the training at the CREC. The Produce …

Food-Safety Marathon: Keeping Up With the Produce Safety Rule

Tacy Callies Food Safety

By Travis Chapin, Matt Krug and Michelle Danyluk It’s been four years since the final Produce Safety Rule (PSR) was published in the Federal Register. The further we get into implementation of the PSR, the more it really seems like a marathon and not a sprint. By January 2020, all operations covered under the PSR should be complying with applicable …

Food Safety Compliance for Fresh Citrus

Ernie Neff Food Safety

Information about complying with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule was presented at the recent annual Citrus Packinghouse Day. Scott McClure, environmental manager for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Fruit & Vegetables (FDACS/DFV), was one of the presenters. He summarizes his talk. McClure says the rule applies to “anyone that handles, grows, …

fresh

Important Food-Safety Requirements

Ernie Neff Food Safety

Mark Ritenour, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) post-harvest Extension specialist, provided updates about food-safety requirements at the recent Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce. His focus was on impacts fresh fruit growers and packers will feel from the Food Safety Modernization Act’s requirement that the Food and Drug Administration rewrite its Produce Safety Rule. Ritenour …

Food-Safety Recommendations for Fresh Market Citrus

Tacy Callies Food Safety

It’s time to prepare for implementation of the Produce Safety Rule. By Travis Chapin, Michelle Danyluk and Keith Schneider In preparation for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule (PSR), growers, harvesters and packers of fresh citrus are required to attend standardized food-safety training, such as the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) grower training course, which outlines the minimum …

FDACS Begins Efforts to Eradicate Oriental Fruit Fly

Daniel Cooper Food Safety, fruit, Industry News Release

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified the presence of three Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in south Miami-Dade County. The initial fly was discovered during routine trapping, and additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. The department, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, monitors more than 56,000 fruit fly traps statewide as an …

On-Farm Readiness Reviews Help Growers with Produce Safety Rule

Tacy Callies Food Safety

By Travis K. Chapin, Keith R. Schneider, Renée Goodrich Schneider, Jessica Lepper, Rachel McEgan and Michelle D. Danyluk The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) was published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Federal Register in November 2015 as one of seven major new regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The PSR covers activities related to …