wholesale produce; produce auctions; Pennsylvania State University Extension; federal food safety standards; communications technology; educational outreach


Commercial production of fruits and vegetables on Amish farms provides significant amounts of fresh produce that are regionally distributed through wholesale markets. In response to several multi-state foodborne disease outbreaks linked to contamination of fresh produce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated farm food safety standards that most commercial produce growers must implement. Although there have been no foodborne disease outbreaks attributed to fresh produce grown on Amish farms, this regulation poses regulatory challenges for those who sell produce at wholesale produce auctions, cooperatives, and distribution warehouses. This article describes recent farm food safety standards issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that require most harvesters and handlers of commercially grown fresh produce to attend workshops on the elements of the regulation and best practices to prevent on-farm contamination. We describe the current FDA-approved computer-based Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) national farm food safety curriculum and how Penn State Extension, working with PSA and a regional Amish food safety advisory group, created an alternative printed version of the curriculum that would be acceptable to all Amish growers regardless of restrictions on the use of learning technologies to present materials. We also present data that suggests the two curriculum delivery methods are equivalent in terms of knowledge gained by comparing pre- and post-workshop survey results. [Abstract by authors.]


This work was supported by the Food Safety Outreach Program [grant no. 2016-70020-25798/project accession no. 1010626] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.