Produce Safety Educators Group
The Produce Safety Educators Group was formed in 2013 for the purpose of keeping educators, specifically those who are focused on produce safety outreach and extension, up-to-date on the latest educational resources, training opportunities, regulatory updates, and produce industry initiatives. The group includes over 400 educators from across the country, primarily from Extension and other produce industry organizations. Meeting agendas are created in response to the group’s request for discussion topics or as pertinent events and updates occur. The meeting typically lasts no more than 1 hour and is hosted via Zoom (toll-free) to share slides and audio.
The views and opinions expressed in these presentations are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect legal advice, views or positions of any entities they represent, nor of the PSA and its members.
If you are interested in joining the group, sign up here.
Previous meeting notes, presentations, and audio recordings are archived below.
Next Call: TBA
Building Interactive Elements into Your Produce Safety Training
October 24, 2022 | Attendance: 84 | Call #62
- Kristin Woods, Auburn University
- Billy Mitchell, produce safety enthusiast
- Gretchen Wall, International Fresh Produce Association
Trainers are encouraged to include hands-on activities and other sources of interaction to engage participants during remote and classroom-based food safety trainings. It can be difficult to find the ideal activity that meets learning objectives and fits into the training agenda. However, there are a growing number of resources being developed by the produce safety educator community to help facilitators more easily incorporate hands-on elements into training. During this webinar, Kristin Woods (Auburn University), Billy Mitchell (produce safety enthusiast), and Gretchen Wall (International Fresh Produce Association) highlighted new resources for trainers to help address those challenges. These resources include the Local Food Safety Collaborative Interactive Hands-On Training Guide and the Farm Innovation Project activities developed with funding from the USDA NIFA Food Safety Outreach Program. This engaging webinar included a demonstration of one of the new activities and a discussion of how you can properly manage time to make space for engagement during training.
- Recording - Building Interactive Elements into Your Produce Safety Training
- Presentation - Building Interactive Elements into Your Produce Safety Training
Subpart E (Agricultural Water): New Proposed Compliance Dates, Thinking about Update Training, and Identifying Key Grower Needs
August 22, 2022 | Attendance: 99 | Call #61
In this Educator’s Call, the PSA team previewed the draft supplemental slides on the proposed Subpart E (Agricultural Water) requirements. We discussed the new proposed compliance dates for Subpart E (and how to comment) as well as PSA’s outreach plans once the proposed rule is finalized. We requested input on what you think key grower needs will be if the final rule is similar to the proposed rule. Listen to the recording to hear a discussion about Subpart E outreach questions.
- Presentation - Subpart E (Agricultural Water): New Proposed Compliance Dates, Thinking about Update Training, and Identifying Key Grower Needs
- Recording - Subpart E (Agricultural Water): New Proposed Compliance Dates, Thinking about Update Training, and Identifying Key Grower Needs
- Supplemental Slides for Proposed Subpart E (Agricultural Water) Requirements
The SCRUB project: Up to Our Elbows in Suds and Bubbles
June 6, 2022 | Attendance: 45 | Call #60
Speaker: Chris Callahan, University of Vermont
Chris Callahan with the University of Vermont joined us to talk about cleaning and sanitizing. Insufficient or inadequate cleaning schedules, insufficient documentation of implementation, and lack of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) used for cleaning and sanitizing of equipment are significant barriers to small farms achieving compliance with the Produce Safety Rule. The Sanitizing and Cleaning Resources for Your Business (SCRUB) project has been addressing those barriers with a suite of educational resources, scale-appropriate trainings, and technical assistance developed in collaboration with the growers who need them most.
During this webinar Chris highlighted outcomes and learnings from the initial year of the project, including information gaps and challenges surrounding cleaning and sanitizing, as well as innovative solutions related to produce safety. Those high-priority topics include: managing bins, doing more with less, wash-pack floors, wash water management, employee management, and bubblers for washing leafy greens. The project developed a website that holds a curated set of guides, templates, webinar recordings and videos that provide practical information on the adoption of produce safety practices by small farms. These SCRUB outputs and event recordings are housed on a dedicated sub-page of the UVM Extension Ag Engineering blog at http://go.uvm.edu/scrub.
- Presentation - The SCRUB project: Up to Our Elbows in Suds and Bubbles
- Recording - The SCRUB project: Up to Our Elbows in Suds and Bubbles
February 28, 2022 | Attendance: 65 | Call #59
- Kristin Esch, Produce Safety Expert, FDA CFSAN Produce Safety Network
- Rene Nieto, Produce Safety Program Coordinator, Texas Department of Agriculture
- Amber Matulis, Produce Safety Unit Manager, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Description: For the past two years, a workgroup that includes FDA, states, NASDA and AFDO has been working to develop a calibration program for the Produce Safety Rule Inspections. Kristin Esch from FDA, CFSAN Produce Safety Network will provide an overview of the newly developed Calibration Program for the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). This presentation will include a discussion of how the process will work, who will be involved, and why it is important for produce safety educators to be aware of this calibration program. A Q&A session with the speaker and two state department of agriculture representatives will follow.
The purpose of this calibration program is intended to promote uniformity and consistency across produce safety inspections among federal, state, and territory produce safety programs. Specifically, this calibration process promotes consistent understanding and application of the PSR by the inspection staff, an understanding of the underlying science so inspection staff can communicate effectively to the farmers, and effective application of communication and education to elicit voluntary compliance. This program also provides data to enable participating programs to evaluate the consistency of produce safety inspections and identify areas were additional training or resources are needed.
- Presentation - Produce Safety Inspection Calibration Program
- Recording - Produce Safety Inspection Calibration Program
January 31, 2022 | Attendance: 46 | Call #58
Speakers: Dr. Elizabeth Bihn, Produce Safety Alliance Director, and Ms. Donna Clements, Produce Safety Alliance Coordinator and NE Regional Extension Associate
During this webinar, Dr. Elizabeth Bihn and Ms. Donna Clements (both Produce Safety Alliance) discussed the recently-released ‘Delivery of the PSA Grower Training Course in Alternative Languages’ policy which provides greater flexibility to PSA Trainers and Lead Trainers in delivering the content to participants in languages and modalities that enhance learning. With PSA Grower Trainings being conducted worldwide, it is critical that the training be accessible to participants in a language and learning modality that they can understand. This policy outlines several different situations where one of the available approved translations of the PSA Curriculum did not meet the needs of all course participants.
The PSA also recognizes that not all course participants may be able to read and that some participants prefer visual learning aides to support their learning experience. Through funding provided by the National Farmers Union Local Food Safety Collaborative, the PSA has been developing illustrations to support the PSA Grower Training and other food safety outreach. These illustrations convey produce safety concepts in a manner that uses minimal text. The produce safety illustrations developed from the first round of project funding were shared in an engaging manner, along with teaching notes and tips for inclusion within the PSA Grower Training curriculum. As the illustrations continue to be finalized, they are made available on the PSA website for educators to download and use in produce safety training and outreach activities.
- Presentation - Alternative Language Policy Discussion & New Educational Resources for Low Literacy Participants
- Recording - Alternative Language Policy Discussion & New Educational Resources for Low Literacy Participants
Produce Traceability: One State’s Approach to Improving Traceability Across the Produce Supply Chain
November 22, 2021 | Attendance: 61 | Call #57
Speakers: Elizabeth Bihn, Ph.D., Produce Safety Alliance Director, and Jennifer Trodden, M.S., CSP, Deputy Commissioner - New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets discussed one state's approach to improving traceability across the produce supply chain.
- Recording - Produce Traceability: One State’s Approach to Improving Traceability Across the Produce Supply Chain
August 16, 2021 | Attendance: 60 | Call #56
Soil amendment use is one option among a number of management practices that growers have to support plant growth and build healthy soils. In this webinar, Alda Pires (UC Davis) and Elizabeth Bihn (Produce Safety Alliance) reviewed current research and two supplemental modules developed by PSA exploring benefits and risk reduction practices when using biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) on produce farms. The first module will discuss how growers can minimize the risks of using untreated soil amendments through application intervals, storage, handling, and record-keeping practices, including recent research on pathogen survival in BSAAO-amended soils. The second module will highlight science-based composting practices that growers can use to minimize risk.
June 21, 2021 | Attendance: 49 | Call #55
Speakers/Moderators: Donna Clements, PSA Southwest Regional Extension Associate, Gretchen Wall, PSA Coordinator & Northeast Regional Extension Associate, and Billy Mitchell, FSMA Training Coordinator - National Farmers Union
PSA Lead Trainer Panelists: Elisabeth Hodgdon, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Barrett Vaughn, Tuskegee University; Karen Ullman, Washington State Department of Agriculture
In collaboration with the Local Food Safety Collaborative, the PSA team briefly reviewed the PSA Lead Trainer application process, provided an overview of suggested resources to help you prepare, and discussed tips for developing your PSA Lead Trainer application. A panel discussion with PSA Lead Trainers followed which provided lessons learned and key information prospective PSA Lead Trainers should know to set themselves up for long-term training success.
May 25, 2021 | Attendance: 68 | Call #54
Speakers: Sophia Kruszewski, Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School (CAFS) and Elizabeth Newbold, Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS)
In this webinar, Sophia Kruszewski from the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School (CAFS) and Elizabeth Newbold from NECAFS shared the outputs of their joint project that identified, researched, and developed educational resources relating to key legal questions associated with compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. NECAFS and CAFS worked together to research commonly asked FSMA Produce Safety Rule legal questions and create educational resources that provide clarity and understanding for producers and food processors. Elizabeth and Sophia talked about the range of topics covered in the educational material created, including: legal liability, variation in state implementation, farms with multiple business entities, and more. All resources are available at elsi.necafs.org.
This webinar is not intended to provide, nor should it be construed as providing, legal advice. Any information presented therein is purely for educational purposes. If you seek legal advice, please consult an attorney licensed in your state for assistance. This project is funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
April 5, 2021 | Attendance: 94 | Call #53
Speakers: Meredith Melendez, Rutgers University, and Leah Cook, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
In this webinar, Meredith Melendez (Rutgers University) and Leah Cook (Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry) gave an overview of findings from On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) surveys and FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspections in the Northeast. Meredith and Leah discussed how the OFRR survey data and inspection results compared, as well as how these findings can be used by trainers to emphasize topics during PSA Grower Training Courses.
- Recording - An Overview of On-Farm Readiness Review and FSMA Produce Safety Rule Inspection Findings
February 22, 2021 | Attendance: 33 | Call #52
Speaker: Dr. Connie Fisk, PSA Northwest Regional Extension Associate
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many produce safety educators to offer courses remotely. On this call, Dr. Connie Fisk, the PSA’s Northwest Regional Extension Associate, provided tips and recommendations for offering remote PSA Grower Training Courses. These recommendations are based on Connie’s experience in offering remote training office hours and helping collaborators move to offering effective remote courses.
January 25, 2021 | Attendance: 104 | Call #51
Speakers: Dr. Kaiping Deng, FDA/Sprout Safety Alliance; Ms. Carmen Wakeling, President of the International Sprout Growers Association (ISGA)
During this webinar, Carmen Wakeling, President of the International Sprout Growers Association (ISGA), gave an overview of the sprout industry, including opportunities for research and areas of continuous improvement. Kaiping Deng, former Co-Lead and Coordinator of the Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA), highlighted the differences in FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements for sprout growers and other produce growers, and described available SSA trainings and related resources. After the presentations, participant questions were answered by Kaiping and Carmen, along with sprout growers Manny Wong and Robin Taylor.
Stress on the Farm
Producers are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress this year ranging from rocky commodity markets to navigating new safety regulations to unusual weather events to living in a global pandemic, all while balancing the daily grind of operating a farm. It's easy to bury thoughts and emotions when times are tough, but that can impact your well-being, as well as your farm’s. Join Kate Downes, Outreach Director for NY FarmNet, a program at Cornell University, walked through identifying signs of stress in yourself, friends, and family, and how to build your well-being.
September 28, 2020 | Attendance: 81 | Call #49
COVID-19 has changed our personal and professional lives since March. This call highlighted what it has taken for us all to step up and to continue to provide great food safety education in the midst of a pandemic. The presentation included discussion with the PSA team, North Carolina State University’s, Natalie Seymour, and University of Minnesota’s, Annalisa Hultberg.
June 15, 2020 | Attendance: 41 | Call #48
During this webinar, Mr. Hans Estrin, University of Vermont Extension, discussed ways to engage your audience and deliver an effective presentation for Module 7 of the PSA curriculum.
May 18, 2020 | | Attendance: 95 | Call #47
Speakers: Dr. Connie Fisk (PSA), Ms. Heather Russell (Cornell Cooperative Extension), and Dr. Jovana Kovacevic (Oregon State University)
During this webinar, presenters discussed tips for hosting PSA Grower Training courses remotely using a web-based platform called Zoom, including how to avoid "Zoombombing" and tools for dissemination of pre- and post-tests.
Monday, April 27, 2020 | Attendance: 109 | Call #46
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Petran, Senior Corporate Scientist - Food Safety and Public Health at Ecolab, discussed principles of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, including EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
- Recording - Setting the Record Straight on Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond
March 26, 2020 | 2-3 PM Eastern
Speaker: Dr. Laura Acuña-Maldonado
Temporary Remote Delivery Policy and the Online PSA Grower Training Course
March 23, 2020 | 2-3 PM Eastern | Call #45
Speakers: PSA Team
Note: As a result of questions and concerns discussed on the March 23, 2020 call, the PSA decided to adjust the temporary remote training delivery policy. These updates are shared in a short presentation and recording below as well (see March 31, 2020 updates).
- Recording - Temporary Remote Delivery Policy and the Online PSA Grower Training Course (March 23, 2020)
- Recording - Policy Updates (March 31, 2020)
February 3, 2020 | Attendance: 37 | Call #44
Speakers: Dr. Connie Fisk, PSA Northwest Extension Associate; Ms. Annalisa Hultberg, University of Minnesota Extension
January 13, 2020 | Attendance: 42 | Call #43
Speaker: Jeff Davis, Business Development Specialist, Specialty Crops Program
November 25, 2019 | Attendance: 51 | Call #42
Speakers: Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Counsel - American Civil Liberties Union
November 4, 2019 | Attendance: 65 | Call #41
Speaker: Roylene Comes At Night, Washington State Conservationist, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
September 30, 2019 | Attendance: 76 | Call #40
Speakers: Sara Runkel, Assistant Professor of Practice, Horticulture, Oregon State University Extension and Tucker Diego, Agricultural Production Specialist, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Summary: Tips for teaching Module 3 - Soil Amendments were shared in this webinar.
August 26, 2019 | Attendance: 95 | Call #39
Speakers: PSA Team
Summary: During this call, PSA provided updates on the recently released Version 1.2 of the curriculum, the launch of our Spanish website, along with other initiatives and plans for the future.
May 20, 2019 | Attendance: 68 | Call #38
Speaker: Chris Callahan, Associate Extension Professor - Agricultural Engineering, University of Vermont; Director of the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS)
March 26, 2019 | Attendance: 102 | Call #37
Speakers: PSA Team
February 25, 2019 | Attendance: 99 | Call #36
Speakers: Darrell McGuire, Food Safety Specialist, Deep South Food Alliance; Joan Olson, Farmer/Owner, Prairie Drifter Farm
October 29, 2018 | Attendance: 104 | Call #35
Speakers: Dr. Amanda Deering, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science, Purdue University; Ms. Donna Pahl Clements, PSA Southwest Extension Associate
September 24, 2018 | Attendance: 61 | Call #34
Organizer: Dr. Connie Fisk, Northwest Extension Associate, PSA
Speakers: Dr. Connie Fisk
July 31, 2018 | Attendance: 85 | Call #33
Organizer: Dr. Kristin Woods, Southeast Extension Associate, PSA
Speakers: Dr. Michelle Danyluk, University of Florida; Mr. Bob Ehart, NASDA
PSA Lead Trainer Process, Lead Trainer Challenges, Improving Trainer Competencies, & Professional Development Opportunities for Produce Safety Educators
June 25, 2018 | Attendance: 48 | Call #32
Speaker: Donna Pahl, Southwest Extension Associate, PSA
- Webinar recording - PSA Lead Trainer Process, Lead Trainer Challenges, Improving Trainer Competencies, & Professional Development Opportunities for Produce Safety Educators
May 21, 2018 | Attendance: 78 | Call #31
Speaker: Dr. Don Stoeckel, Midwest Extension Associate, PSA
- Webinar recording - Shine Some Light Down that Rabbit Hole: Coverage & Exclusions in the PSA Grower Training
March 26, 2018 | Attendance: 65 | Call #30
February 5, 2018 | Attendance: 81 | Call #29
Guest speaker: Jennifer Dougherty, USDA Audit Programs Coordinator
January 8, 2018 | Attendance: 54 | Call #28
Guest speaker: Dr. Paula Rivadeneira, Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist in the Department of Soil, Water, & Environmental Science at the University of Arizona - Yuma Agricultural Center
October 2, 2017 | Attendance: 76 | Call #27
August 29, 2017 | Attendance: 80 | Call #26
July 25, 2017 | Attendance: 61 | Call #25
May 4, 2017 | Attendance: 91 | Call #24
December 5, 2016 | Attendance: 72 | Call #23
September 19, 2016 | Attendance: 82 | Call #22
August 15, 2016 | Attendance: 72 | Call #21
June 13, 2016 | Attendance: 54 | Call #20
May 23, 2016 | Attendance: 56 | Call #19
April 25, 2016 | Attendance: 69 | Call #18
Guests: Bob Ehart, Senior Policy & Science Advisor, NASDA
Art Johnstone, Produce Safety Project Manager, NASDA
March 21, 2016 | Attendance: 44 | Call #17a
Guest: Donna Burke-Fonda Assistant Branch Chief, Audit Services Branch, Specialty Crops Inspection Division
October 13, 2015 | Attendance: 62 | Call #16a
Guest: Jenny Scott, FDA Senior Advisor, Office of Food Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
May 11, 2015 | Attendance: 46 | Call #17
April 6, 2015 | Attendance: 42 | Call #16
Guests: Mr. Gerald Wojtala, Executive Director, IFPTI
Dr. Kaiping Deng, Senior Scientist, IIT-IFSH
February 23, 2015 | Attendance: 56 | Call #15
November 10, 2014 | Attendance: 29 | Call #14
October 20, 2014 | Call #13
Guests: Mr. Brian Pendleton, J.D. – Senior Policy Advisor, FDA; Dr. Samir Assar – Produce Safety Staff Director, FDA; Dr. Mickey Parish – Senior Advisor, Office of Food Safety; Ms. Joy Johanson and Dr. Michael Mahovic, Consumer Safety Officers Produce Safety Staff; Ms. Scarlett Salem, Produce Safety Staff; Dr. Rita Nalubola, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy; Ms. Kruti Ravaliya, ORISE Fellow
August 27, 2014 | Attendance: 66 | Call #12
Guests: Dr. Mike Mahovic, Consumer Safety Officer; Ms. Scarlett Salem, Staff Fellow; and Ms. Annemarie Buchholz, Consumer Safety Officer, FDA-CFSAN
July 7, 2014 | Attendance: 95 | Call #11
Guest: Kathy Gombas, Deputy Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
June 2, 2014 | Attendance: 35 | Call #10
Guests: Ms. Robin Kalinowski – Director, Center for Specialty Programs, Institute of Food Safety and Health
Dr. Tong-Jen Fu - Research Chemical Engineer, FDA Division of Food Processing Science and Technology
May 5, 2014 | Attendance: 40 | Call #9
Guest: Sherri McGarry, Senior Advisor, FDA Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine
April 7, 2014 | Attendance: 31 | Call #8
March 3, 2014 | Attendance: 19 | Call #7
February 10, 2014 | Attendance: 37 | Call #6
January 13, 2014 | Attendance: 37 | Call #5
Guest: Dr. Annette McCarthy, Consumer Safety Officer, FDA CFSAN
December 9, 2013 | Attendance: 41 | Call #4
Guests: Ken Petersen, Audit Programs Managers, USDA-AMS
November 18, 2013 | Attendance: 51 | Call #3
October 15, 2013 | Attendance: 48 | Call #2
September 9, 2013 | Attendance: 64 | Call #1
June 18, 2013 | Attendance: 21
Guests: Dr. Samir Assar, Director, FDA Produce Safety Staff; Dr. Linda Harris, Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Davis; Ms. Sue Challis, Health Comm. Specialist, Office of the Deputy Comm. for Foods & Vet Medicine; Ms. Scarlett Salem, FDA Staff Fellow
File Archive Notice
The online files for notes and presentations for calls before 2022 have been removed from the server.
psatrainers [at] cornell.edu (subject: Archived%20File%20Request%20from%20Produce%20Safety%20Educators%20Call) (The files are available upon request).