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January 27, 2017
Happy New Year Produce Safety Alliance Members!

Although 2016 flew by in a blur with the official launch of the PSA's training programs in September, we are continuing the momentum into 2017. Read more in this newsletter about 2017 training opportunities, updates, and resources!
PSA Training Updates
PSA Training Courses & Availability
The best way to check whether there are training courses available near you is to check our website . We update the list weekly (if not more frequently) with confirmed
 PSA Train-the-Trainer and Grower Training Courses. Additionally, individuals who have attended our PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses in 2016 and early 2017 are now offering PSA Grower Training Courses all over the country. There are many courses  in  planning stages right now, but registrations have not yet been posted - so check back often for new listings. You may also consider contacting the PSA Regional Extension Associate near you  to get more information on when and where the next course near you may be scheduled.  
 
2016 Training Recap
To say the end of 2016 was busy might be an understatement. We have been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of collaborators and educators from around the country. In a few short months (September 2016 - December 2016), the PSA team, along with our collaborators, were able to host 39 training courses (both grower and trainer courses) in 21 states (NY, PA, MI, AZ, FL, AR, NC, MN, NM, CO, AL, VA, CA, TX, VT, IN, OR, KS, CT, NJ, and OH).  That works out to be just over two trainings per week! 
 
At the same time, we were able to meet lots of hard 
working produce growers and educators, dedicated to enhancing food safety on the farm. It has been a truly eye-opening experience for the PSA team, in particular, to encounter such a variety of farm types and scales, commodities grown, production practices, cultural differences, and unique challenges that growers may face when implementing produce safety practices, and for some, the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements. 
 
The 2017 training schedule does not show any signs of slowing down. Each week, we are adding more courses to the calendar. As more Train-the-Trainer courses are held, our cadre of trainers expands and courses will become even more widely available to growers around the country. Want to join us as a trainer? Check out two Train-the-Trainer Course opportunities below coming up next month, along with many more listed on our website!
Seats Available: Upcoming PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses!
We have a few upcoming Train-the-Trainer courses with last minute open seats still available. Please visit the registration pages below for more information.

Notes for Current PSA Trainers
Registering Courses with AFDO & Printing Evaluations
Just a quick note for any trainers who plan to register PSA Grower Training Courses with AFDO. Please remember to follow the e-mail instructions AFDO provides with regards to filling out the Excel file, arranging payment for certificates, and printing evaluations.

The evaluations are unique to EACH course that you register since the course ID will be linked to other participant data in our system. Please do not reuse course evaluations for other courses. Use only the evaluation which was assigned for that particular course. Please remember to provide a blank copy of the evaluation form that was used when you return your packets to AFDO. This helps us calibrate the equipment which will read the participant responses. 

Need Some Help Writing Your Course Invitation or Marketing Language?
We've got template language for you to use! Feel free to use this language to help participants understand who should attend, what to expect at the course, benefits of attending, and other information. 

Registering PSA Grower Training Courses
AFDO is accepting PSA Grower Training Course registrations, as long as there is at least one PSA Lead Trainer and all other trainers delivering PSA Training Modules have attended the Train-the-Trainer Course. Information about registering PSA Grower Training Courses is available on the AFDO website.  
 
Updates on the PSA Lead Trainer Process
For those PSA Trainers who have attended the Train-the-Trainer Course and applied to become PSA Lead Trainers through the supplemental application process, we appreciate your patience as the review committee continues the evaluation of the applications currently in the queue. There have been 22 PSA Train-the-Trainer courses across the country including our pilots in 2014 and 2015, with 19 of those courses occurring between September 2016 and December 2016. The review committee is using a first come, first serve method of reviewing applications in the order received, so there may be trainers in the queue ahead of you who submitted their applications earlier. We understand that these delays have caused conflicts in scheduling PSA Grower Training Courses for some of you this winter. If you have not received approval of PSA Lead Trainer status, we strongly advise against scheduling courses, unless you have an additional PSA Lead Trainer or back-up PSA Lead Trainer. 
Sister Alliance Updates
 
The Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA) launched the Train-the-Trainer (TTT) and Sprout Grower Training courses in August 2016.  To date, nineteen (19) SSA Lead Instructor (LI) candidates have successfully completed a SSA TTT course and sixteen (16) of them were approved to be SSA LIs.  Nineteen (19) sprout growers and ten (10) federal/state inspectors have also successfully completed a SSA Sprout Grower Training course. 

For more information about the SSA training, please visit the SSA Training webpage at: https://www.ifsh.iit.edu/ssa/resources/ssa-training.

Also, see the FDA update below for the recently released draft guidance for sprouts!
FDA Updates

Jan. 19, 2016 - FDA Announces Draft Guidance for Sprout Production & Meeting the FSMA Produce Safety Rule Requirements in Subpart M


On January 19, 2017, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued for public comment a draft guidance to help sprout operations meet new standards designed to help keep sprouts free of contamination and safe for consumers to eat.
 
Sprout operations have new requirements under the Produce Safety Rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Sprouts present a unique risk because the conditions under which they are typically produced are also ideal for the growth of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. Between 1996 and July 2016 there were 46 reported outbreaks associated with sprouts in the United States, accounting for 2474 illnesses, 187 hospitalizations, and three deaths.
 
To read the draft guidance and submit comments, visit the FDA website . For more information about training courses and educational materials for sprouters, visit the Sprout Safety Alliance website
USDA Updates
Harmonized Audit Standard Released - Ver. 1.1
 
The new Harmonized Standard, V.1.1. has been released and is available on United Fresh's website for growers who are currently participating in GAPs audits or those interested in having an audit in the future. 
Stay in Touch!
Our general listserve reaches over 2,700 growers, industry members, regulatory agents, and educators in the United States and around the globe. Signing up for the listserve is  the best way to stay in touch with the PSA. To sign up, please visit our website at  producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu  or use the link included at the bottom of this e-mail message
 
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or ideas. We love feedback, so let us know! Good, bad, or otherwise - our ears (and e-mail inboxes) are always open!
Gretchen L. Wall, M.S.

Produce Safety Alliance Coordinator 

Elizabeth A. Bihn, Ph.D.

Produce Safety Alliance Director 

Cornell University - Dept. of Food Science

110B Stocking Hall

Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone:  607.255.6806

Email: glw53@cornell.edu

Hedrick Hall - NYSAES
630 W. North Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315.787.2625