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November 10, 2013

Series Nov. 19, 21 to help growers meet food regulations

Purdue Extension will offer a three-part series of programs in November to assist growers of fruits and vegetables in navigating food safety regulations, should they desire to sell their products to certain restaurants, wholesalers, food hubs and other operations.

The program series, “Good Agricultural Practices from A to Z,” will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 and 21, at locations supported by Purdue Extension Vigo County and Purdue Extension Vermillion County. The sessions will include information on harvest health and hygiene, water quality and treatment, animals and animal products, processing sanitation on the farm, required documentation of actions, recordkeeping and food safety plans.

Jodee Ellett, Purdue Extension’s local foods coordinator, noted that farmers wanting to sell to certain markets will be required to not only register with the state of Indiana as a wholesaler of fruits and vegetables, but also show proof of knowledge of food safety good agricultural practices, known in the industry as GAPs. Attending all three of the seminar programs will provide the grower with the ability to meet the new regulations. The target audience includes current and prospective fruit and vegetable producers, market gardeners and others interested in food systems.

The intended outcomes for those attending are to reduce the risk of contamination during the production of fruits and vegetables, as well as to provide practical knowledge on planning and documenting food safety practices, from planting through marketing.

Registration costs $30 per person and $10 for each additional person from same operation. Attendance at all three sessions is required to receive a GAPs Certificate of Attendance from Purdue Extension. To register contact the Vigo County Extension office at 812-462-3371, or the Vermillion County Extension at 765-492-5335.

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