The California Department of Agriculture is committed to educating California produce farmers on how to follow the Produce Safety Rule and is working to make sure that produce farmers understand the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule by providing a host of resources.

Required Training

Under the Produce Safety Rule, every produce farm must have an individual employed who has completed an FDA-approved Produce Safety Rule Grower Training, or equivalent course. In addition, all personnel engaged in the supervision of personnel who handle (contact) covered produce or food contact surfaces must receive training as specified in the Rule.

This course provides training to ensure a responsible party employed by the farm understands required food safety practices, can train other employees, and can recognize conditions that could lead to contamination of covered produce and take appropriate action to correct those conditions.

The Produce Safety Rule Grower Training need only be taken once; however, the certificate of completion belongs to the individual and not the farm.

California Produce Safety Program inspectors will ask to see your designated food safety employee’s certificate as part of your on-farm inspection.

Frequently Asked Questions:
https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/frequently-asked-questions-fsma#collapseFifteen

About the Training Program

For farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule, the Grower Training Course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is adequate as the standardized curriculum.

FDA recently released draft guidance on selecting alternate criteria for the Grower Training course. The purpose of this guidance is to provide recommendations on the factors that covered farms should consider if they are selecting an alternate curriculum training to meet the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule, and that educators should consider when developing or evaluating alternate curricula. For more information, please visit FDA’s website:
https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/whats-new-fsma

Resources

How to Find an approved Grower Training Course

The Produce Safety Alliance maintains a website which lists all available Produce Safety Training Courses. Announcing the PSA Website - En espanol!

External Food Safety Links

How to Schedule an On-Farm Readiness Review

Are you ready for a Produce Safety Inspection? Find out now! Produce Safety Rule regulatory inspections began for large farms in spring 2019. But CDFA offers non-regulatory On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRRs) for small and very small farms. These are designed to give farmers a better understanding of what they can expect from a routine Produce Safety Inspection. Please note that the PSA Grower Training is required before scheduling an OFRR, and it is preferable to schedule an OFRR during harvest periods. Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. Farm name and location
  2. A contact person and how to contact you
  3. What produce do you grow, harvest, pack, or cool?
  4. When are you harvesting?
  5. Have you completed the PSA Grower Training?

Contact us at producesafety@cdfa.ca.gov or 916-900-5322 to schedule an OFRR.