December 22, 2022

Dear PSA newsletter subscribers and produce safety aficionados,

The end of the year always provides time for reflection and 2022 has been quite the year of change and growth for the PSA team and perhaps for many of you as well. It started with our longtime Project Coordinator Gretchen Wall transitioning to the new International Fresh Produce Association and ended with Spanish-Language Extension Associate Ricardo Orellana leaving for Care International. In between, we gained new team members Mariana Villareal (Spanish-Language Extension Associate), Collins Bugingo (NW Regional Extension Associate), and Thaís Ramos (SW Regional Extension Associate) AND, thankfully Donna Clements agreed to become the new PSA Project Coordinator! We had our first in-person PSA team meeting in three years, which was really fantastic since many on the team had never met each other in person. I was happy (and relieved) to see our PSA team quickly meld and be able to have productive discussions about our goals and objectives. This year also allowed us to get back to in-person trainings while still offering remote trainings, which remain in high demand. We also continued to build on existing collaborations and expanded our scope of trainings to include international outreach in Mexico. There have been challenges along the way. New team members have productive shoes to fill and lots of things to learn. Personal challenges meant everyone had to pitch in to cover responsibilities for others and the PSA still has no clear long-term funding. Despite the challenges, I remain extremely grateful for the PSA team and for all of you. I believe our commitment to produce safety and actions are helping growers, packers, and farm employees implement food safety practices that are preventing microbial contamination. This helps to ensure the availability of safe and fresh produce to all consumers. That is, indeed, effort well spent. Thank you for everything you have done to support the PSA Team and to support produce safety. As the holidays approach, the entire PSA team wishes everyone a relaxing season spent celebrating friends and family!

Happy Holidays!
Betsy Bihn, PSA Director
Welcome Thaís Ramos to the PSA!
Please join us in welcoming PSA’s newest team member, Thais Ramos! Thaís joined the PSA in October 2022 as the Southwest Regional Extension Associate. Thaís has been working on science-based extension programs and developing applied research to address food safety from production to the end consumer. Her research has been primarily focused on identifying potential sources of fresh produce contamination by foodborne pathogens during production and processing, while implementing mitigation strategies to minimize the risk of produce contamination on conventional, and organic farming systems. Before joining the Produce Safety Alliance, Thaís worked at University of California - Davis as a food safety specialist. 
FSMA Traceability Rule
The FSMA Traceability Rule, “Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods” was published in the federal register on November 21, 2022. This FSMA rule establishes traceability recordkeeping requirements for persons who manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods included on the Food Traceability List (FTL). FDA has posted several resources on the Traceability Rule, including an exemptions and exclusions tool
On Monday, PSA hosted a Produce Safety Educators’ Call, with question-and-answer supported by FDA’s Angela Fields, to discuss draft Supplemental Slides on the Traceability Rule. Educators may opt to include these slides when presenting Module 7 of the PSA Grower Training Course or in other outreach with produce growers. The recording of Monday’s webinar has been posted on the Educators’ Call website and the supplemental slides will soon be posted under Trainer Resources. January’s Spanish-language Educators’ Call will also highlight the new FSMA Traceability Rule and PSA Supplemental Slides (translated into Spanish).
Subpart E – Harvest and Postharvest Agricultural Water Compliance Dates 
Enforcement discretion for harvest and postharvest agricultural water is being removed for large farms (“all other businesses”) beginning January 26, 2023. Trainers are encouraged to review Module 5.2, and include slide 11 from the Supplemental Slides for Proposed Subpart E at the introduction of Module 5.2 as a reminder.
Stay tuned: knowledge-sharing webinars, updated record-keeping templates, and other resources to support growers and trainers are in development by the PSA team.
Please reach out to any member of the PSA team for support if you have questions about the content of Module 5.2 and what it means for covered produce farms.
Specific requirements that covered farms will be expected to follow include:
  • § 112.41, the qualitative water quality requirement
  • § 112.42, the agricultural water system inspection
  • § 112.43, for treatment of water (when applicable)
  • Portions of §§ 112.44 through 112.47, related to sampling and analysis against the E. coli criterion (not detectable in 100 mL water) and corrective measures relevant to harvest and postharvest uses
  • § 112.48, related to maintaining the quality of agricultural water during postharvest use
  • § 112.50, for recordkeeping requirements

NASDA Produce Safety Consortium 
Much of the PSA Team spent last week in Phoenix, Arizona at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Produce Safety Consortium. The team enjoyed seeing each other in-person and meeting with collaborators, old and new. Collins Bugingo (NW REA) spearheaded the effort to present a poster on the benefits and limitations of remote PSA Grower Training Courses.
Educational Opportunities
Advanced Trainer Workshop Registration 
The PSA, in collaboration with the FSMA Southern Center for Training, Outreach, and Technical Assistance, will be hosting an advanced trainer workshop on February 7-9, 2023 for PSA Trainers and Lead Trainers. The workshop will be located at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. This workshop is intended to help participants enrich their training skills and further their understanding of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. The workshop will include a blend of lecture, hands-on activities, and breakout groups. Please click on the link below for workshop details and to register!
Upcoming PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses

Remote delivery course | NY, USA: 1/23/2023 - 1/26/2023

In-person course | Vancouver, WA, USA: 1/31/2023 - 2/2/2023
  • Contact Information: Connie Fisk, Phone: 360-545-2519
  • Cost: $300 | Registration Information (registration closes January 17)
  • Training Language: English
  • If you have a V1.2 PSA Grower Training manual and plan to bring it to the course, contact Connie for a coupon code before registering.

USDA FSA Food Safety Education Funds
USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) provides financial assistance through a Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops program. The program can be used by growers who incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses, such as to obtain or renew a food safety certificate in calendar years 2022 or 2023. Specialty crop growers who obtain a food safety certificate may be eligible for financial assistance to offset costs such as the registration fees for the Online PSA Grower Training Course. Click on this link for more details
WSU Cleaning and Sanitizing Resource
Washington State University released an online educational resource on how to properly clean and sanitize tools and equipment in a farm setting. Cleaning and sanitizing minimizes the risk of cross-contamination from pathogenic microorganisms and is a valuable risk management strategy. The modules are visually engaging and interactive, requiring users to apply critical thinking and realistic decision-making. All content is available in English and Spanish.
Job Opportunities
Join the PSA Team!
Spanish-Language Extension Associate

The Produce Safety Alliance is hiring a Spanish-Language Extension Associate! As a key member of the PSA team, the Spanish-Language Extension Associate (SLEA) will be required to have dual English and Spanish proficiency, including the ability to read, write, speak, and edit in both English and Spanish languages. The SLEA will be responsible for overseeing the translation, editing, and proofreading of PSA projects to ensure quality, message accuracy and consistency, appropriate tone and voice, and cultural relevance. The SLEA will facilitate and provide leadership for conference calls relating to domestic and international outreach efforts and will be directly involved in training other individuals to use the curriculum, in-person and through online platforms in English and Spanish. Please view the position description here.   
University of Maryland – Agent Associate of Food Safety

The University of Maryland is recruiting an Agent Associate to assist in the implementation of a food safety training program for fresh-market fruit and vegetable producers in Maryland. This position requires a strong background in horticultural crops management and the ability to train farmers in group settings. The Agent Associate will work under the guidance of University of Maryland, College Park faculty in a series of off-campus extension trainings. Please view and apply for the position here.
International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) Food Safety Manager Position

IFPA is currently hiring for a Food Safety Manager. This position provides strategic input and operational execution of technical and regulatory resources to members globally. The role pursues partnerships and funding opportunities to allow the development and expansion of IFPA food safety, quality, and regulatory resources and training. Visit the position listing for more details.
International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) Summer Internship Program 

Please share this opportunity with any current sophomore or junior students in a STEM-based or agriculture degree program. IFPA is offering twelve paid, 10-week project-based virtual internships that will explore subjects relevant to students’ academic studies through hands-on experience with IFPA and the produce industry. There are three available internships in four areas, including food safety. Applications are being accepted through January 27, 2023. Details can be found here.