From the desk of
October 18th, 2021
Emily Hale
Produce Safety Technician
The Where and What of On-Farm Visitor Signage
Micah Hutchison
Produce Safety Technician
The FSMA Produce Safety Rule requires that farms make visitors aware of the farm’s food safety policies and provide toilet and handwashing facilities. This means farms are required to inform any person invited on to the farm of the on-farm policies in place to protect covered produce from contamination by visitors to the farm. On-farm signage is a great way to meet this requirement and as well as inform visitors of other valuable information visitors should know when they arrive at the farm.

Visitor signage can be approached in many ways. One solution is to post a large sign containing all on-farm policies at the entrance to the farm, entrance to u-pick fields, or near cash registers Post signs large enough that important information is easily noticeable and easily read by farm visitors.
Squashing Cross Contamination of Fall Crops
Landen Tetil
Produce Safety Technician
What do you get when you cross a pumpkin with a fresh apple? It’s not a pum-ple or an app-kin, it’s cross-contamination! Maybe that was a corny joke, but you get the point - fall is a bountiful and beautiful time on the farm, but food safety concerns could still become a serious issue for farms that grow both covered and excluded produce. There’s no need to start worrying about a haunted farm, though. Pathogens might be invisible to the naked eye, but they’re no ghosts, either. Simple food safety considerations will help avoid cross-contamination, keep consumers safe, and prevent agritourism events from getting spooky.

Autumn is often ripe with farm favorites: apples, beets, pumpkins, sweetcorn, brussels sprouts, carrots, winter squash… you get the idea. Some of these crops are covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, and are subject to the Rule’s standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding those crops safely.
Podcast Episode: Produce Safety on U-Pick Farms
This episode features Barb Roth, owner of Red Barn Market in Lowell Michigan, and Mariel Borgman, Community Food Systems Educator with MSU Extension. They discuss various food safety risks on U-Pick farms and how you can mitigate them.
Minimizing Foodborne Illness Risks to patrons at petting zoos
Phil Tocco
Michigan State University Extension Educator
As much as petting zoos are popular at farmstands throughout Michigan, they can pose significant food safety risks when placed near fresh produce or ready-to-eat food for sale. Here are a few things to consider if you have both a petting zoo and produce or food for sale at your farm.

Maximize distance and minimize entry points
If you can, design the facility to provide only one entry and exit point from the petting zoo. In doing this, you can concentrate people and pass them by one or multiple handwashing stations. In addition, keep the distance between the animals and the food for sale as far as possible. Making it easy for patrons to get from the animals to the food also makes it easy for manure to get from the animals to the food.
The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in §112.22(c) that requires, "At least one supervisor or responsible party from your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration."

This one day course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course. The course Fee is $50 for Michigan residents and $85 for non-Michigan residents.
Sign up today for an On-Farm Readiness Review!
This free, voluntary, and confidential service is your next step towards FSMA compliance
Many growers of fresh produce want to know how ready they are with regards to being FSMA compliant. In an effort to get people ready for a full implementation of FSMA, Cooperative Extension has developed an On-Farm Readiness Review program. This article helps growers walk through the next steps.
Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team
1715 Lansing Ave, Jackson, MI 49202 | MSU Extension MACD Produce Safety Technicians
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