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Meet our newest subrecipient!
 
Brian Fink is an attorney who concentrates on the legal issues of food.  Part of his practice focuses on writing guidance on local, state, and federal laws affecting food and farm organizations.  For example, he co-authored and edited a legal guide on many issues facing small-scale Connecticut farmers, such as business formation, taxation, and food safety.  He also co-authored a legal guide on using community kitchens in Massachusetts, which dove into such issues as licensing and contracting.  In addition, through collaboration with nonprofit food and agricultural organizations, Brian has contributed public comments to the FDA on the Produce Safety Rule and Preventive Controls Rule.
 
Brian is thrilled to collaborate with the LFSC and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association to develop educational materials on the Preventive Controls Rule for those farmers who make and sell value-added products.  Using a step-by-step approach, this guide covers the basic requirements of the rule, the different types of exemption, food facility registration, and much more.  Drawing from the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations, FDA guidance for industry, FDA enforcement actions, and other sources, this guide will be a go-to reference designed specifically for farms who produce value-added products.
 
Brian was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.  He worked as a cook and kitchen manager for a large cooperative grocery store, where he learned about the importance and value of local-food supply chains.  He also worked on organic produce farms and built community gardens and urban farms.
 

Managers Geoffrey and Mericos from Spoon Full Farm lead a "Farm Walk" and discuss the importance of soil quality.
The Farm Walk series, presented by Washington State University (WSU) and Tilth Alliance, is a series of farmer-led tours designed to facilitate discussion between farmers and agricultural experts about food safety practices and farm operation. The Farm Walk Series promotes sharing of real on-farm experiences and showcases best practices. Each farm walk incorporates different themes based on the farm operation type.
 
The third farm walk of the year, hosted by Spoon Full Farm in Thorp, WA, emphasized regenerative agriculture and no-till practices. Karen Ullmann, from Washington State Department of Agriculture , served as the produce safety expert, highlighting protocol and clarifying produce safety requirements and best practices.
    
Continue to read more here!
FDA Updates   
  1. Constituent Update: FDA will hold a public meeting entitled "FDA's New Era of Smarter Food Safety" on Monday, October 21, 2019 (8:30 am-5:00 pm) in Rockville, MD. Have comments you'd like us to voice? Get in touch with us!
  2. Fact SheetFDA recently released a fact sheet on dropped covered produce.
  3. Open for CommentFDA is seeking comments on "Draft Guidance for Industry: Evaluating Alternate Curricula for the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption." Submit comments by October 2, 2019. Reference Docket number: FDA-2019-D-2131
  4. Training Webinar: FDA's Office of Training Education and Development has released the September 29, 2018 Extension Agents Produce Training Inspection Webinar. Watch it on FDA's YouTube or FoodSHIELD!
Upcoming Trainings, Workshops &
Conferences
LFSC works with a team of trainers, farmers, and experts across the country to conduct outreach and bring educational opportunities that enhance fundamental food safety knowledge and help local producers and processors comply with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. 
 
Brooklyn,  New York
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training: 10/1
 
Brooklyn, New York
Food Safety Plan Writing Class: 10/2
 
Athens, Georgia
Preventive Controls for Human Foods (PCQI) Course: 10/15
 
San Antonio, Texas
Southern Region Integrated Produce Safety Conference: 10/29
 
Yakima, Washington
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training: 11/8
 
Resources
Crisis Communications
 
Knowing how to navigate a crisis is important and knowing how to communicate effectively is crucial. Brought to you by the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association and United Fresh Produce Association, this FREE five-part Crisis Communications Webinar Series is designed to provide a brief overview of each topic (15-20 minutes each).
  1. Managing a Crisis
  2. The Anatomy of a Food Recall
  3. When FDA Comes a' Knocking
  4. Traceability & Other Technical Aspects of a Recall
  5. Crisis Communications
 

The 2018 E. coli contamination of romaine lettuce linked to nearby livestock operations resulted in massive recalls of all potentially affected produce. In response, the California Department of Agriculture partnered with the University of California-Davis over the summer to bring the livestock and produce communities together to facilitate dialogue about cooperation to prevent future foodborne disease outbreaks. The California Good Agriculture Neighbors Workshop by Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) may be helpful even if you don't neighbor a large livestock operation, as many local growers run diversified operations with livestock of their own. Whatever your situation is, hopefully these videos give you something to think about.

Click here to interact with the full program, including presentations and handouts!
Managing Food Safety Liability Risks
 
Are you concerned about issues of food safety and your legal liability?  Whether you are new to farming or have years of experience, you need to know what you may or may not be liable for in order to manage your risks!  Farm Commons is a great source for FREE resources pertaining to food safety and legal liability.
 

 
*FDA defines small and food processors as businesses with less than 500 full time employees and very small food processors as businesses with less than $1,000,000 in average annual food sales over the previous 3 years plus inventory.
  1. MSU Survey: Michigan State University seeks farmer input on educational needs for farmers as it relates to wildlife damage to crops (5 minutes). Take the survey here!
     
  2. NECAFS Survey: NECAFS is conducting a survey to assess barriers that  prevent small and very small food processors* from implementing hazard analysis risk-based preventive controls (HARPC) food safety plans in accordance with the Preventive Controls for Human Foods (PCHF) regulation (21 CFR Part 117) under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Feedback requested before October 25, 2019 (10 minutes). Take the survey here!
Farm Business Toolbox
 
 
Growing conditions and safe production practices present demanding challenges, but those are not the only skills today's farmer must maintain. To thrive in changing markets, we know that you also have to operate with a high degree of business savvy. Check out this Farm Business Toolbox, a FREE compilation of resources created to help farmers have the information you need to run a successful operation.  
 
Learn more about farm business health topics here!
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