The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach On-Farm Food Safety Team has released three videos to educate Iowa fruit and vegetable growers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).
These online videos replace the day-long Iowa Level 1 GAP trainings, and are good introductory courses for new farm employees. In-person workshops for groups are still available upon request.
Iowa GAP Level 1 Introduction, 25 minutes
Iowa GAP Level 1 Pre-Harvest, 39 minutes
Iowa GAP Level 1 Post-Harvest, 49 minutes
ISU Extension and Outreach has released a new publication just in time for the summer food festivals and events. “Food Safety Tips for Food Event Volunteers- SP452 May 14” provides tips for those working at events and covers food safety basics that are critical when handling food to prevent occurrences of food-borne illness.
Volunteers provide critical manpower for many community events. Some events may utilize 4-H’ers and their family members at county fair food stands. In other communities, volunteers will be serving food along the RAGBRAI routes, parade routes, farm tours and community celebrations.
This publication can be a great tool to provide a brief training before the actual event to foster communication about procedures that everyone needs to follow. But remember, not only is essential to have the correct information, but it is equally important to have the equipment to carry out the procedures, like calibrated thermometers, gloves, deli sheets, tongs, scoops, etc. Happy Eating!
School gardens can be important elements of student learning about the food they eat, and food safety in the garden is an important lesson.
To help teachers and school garden coordinators with food safety training for students, ISU Extension and Outreach has created an online training course. Short videos of young gardeners demonstrate safe food production handling through the identification of biological, physical, and chemical hazards within the garden.
Through the videos, participants will learn different prevention strategies to reduce risks from occurring. Quizzes will be given at the end of each section of the video to test student knowledge on each area of produce food safety.
Additional activities and case studies are provided on the website to assist with further identifying hazards associated with fresh produce. A resource manual is also available on the website to guide the instructors of school gardens on more in-depth information.
The health and hygiene of farm workers directly impacts the safety of produce since their hands can contaminate the fresh fruits and vegetables they handle. The importance of the cleanliness of every worker’s hands throughout all phases of production, especially harvesting and packing, cannot be over-emphasized.
Educating workers about the risks, enforcing the use of toilets and handwashing facilities, paying close attention to the health of workers, and encouraging them to report illnesses are a few simple steps growers can take to reduce the risk of pathogens being spread from workers to fresh produce. All workers, even your family members, should receive training.
Stop! Did you wash your hands? – ISU Extension
University of Nebraska – Handwashing Steps
Cornell GAPS program