Friday, August 25

Sixteen farmers attend Produce Safety Training in St. Helena Parish

Training team flanked by Dr. Malekian, left, and Mrs. King, far right
Baton Rouge, La (August 25, 2017) - Sixteen farmers from the St. Helena area attended Produce Safety Training for small farmers in Greensburg on August 24, 2017. The farmers participated in the learning experience related to soil amendment, water safety, worker health and hygiene, storage and transportation and post-harvest activities. Participants were asked to pinpoint the safety issues in their farms and prepare a farm safety plan.  Dr. Fatemeh Malekian, produce safety project director, Emily king, produce safety program coordinator, and Burnell Muse, extension specialist from Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus conducted the training.

Louisiana is one of 42 states awarded millions of dollars by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule. The rule, which the FDA finalized in November 2015, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.

“The overall goal of this project is to enhance Louisiana’s Produce Safety Programs to continue to encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables and to promote compliance with the requirements of FDA’s Produce Safety Rule,” said Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “This project will help educate growers and will result in increased implementation of on-farm food safety practices by small, medium and large produce farms in Louisiana. This will develop a state-federal partnership for inspection, compliance and enforcement of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule as required by the law.”

“Southern University Ag Center has additional trainings planned for the near future. A Produce Growers Training is scheduled for September 25th, 2017 at SU Ag Center, A.O. Williams Hall,” said Project Director Fatemeh Malekian.

For more information, please contact Emily King, at 225-771-2367 or Dr. Malekian at 225-771-0251.

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