CLEVELAND, Ohio — A program on preventing microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable farms will take place 6-9 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Urban Community School, 4909 Lorain Ave., Cleveland. Food safety and Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPS, for fruit and vegetable production are the focus.
“The Food and Drug Administration should be releasing draft standards for safe production and harvest of fruits and vegetables as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act,” 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.”
OSU Extension educators and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center staff will be the speakers.
Attendees won’t actually become “certified in GAPs” by taking the course, she said. That certification comes only through a farm audit by the USDA or a third-party company.
“Find out what your farmers market or buyers require,” Kulhanek said. “Some may be satisfied with just a class on GAPs. Others may require the full food safety farm plan and audit, or both.”
Contact Jacqueline Kowalski in OSU Extension’s Cuyahoga County office at 216-429-8200, ext. 217, or kowalski.124<\@>osu.edu to reserve a spot in the program.
Cost is $10. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. Payment will be taken at the door. Walk-ins are welcome.
For more information, go to www.producesafety.osu.edu.