Educate

The California Department of Agriculture is committed to educating California produce farmers on how to follow the Produce Safety Rule.

The FDA has determined that official Produce Safety Rule on-farm inspections will begin in 2019. The Produce Safety Program will spend 2018 working to make sure California produce farmers understand the Produce Safety Rule.

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 course. This course provides training to ensure a responsible party employed by the farm understands the required food safety practices.

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.

About the Training Program

Currently, only courses that have been accredited by the Produce Safety Alliance will satisfy the requirement for training under the Produce Safety Rule.

The 7-hour Produce Safety Rule Grower Training course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use
  • Agriculture Water (Part I: Production Water. Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Developing a Farm Food Safety Plan
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation

Resources

How to Find an approved Grower Training Course

The Produce Safety Alliance maintains a website which lists all available Produce Safety Training Courses.

CDFA Subsidized Training

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has received funding from the FDA to provide Produce Safety Rule Grower Training courses at a reduced rate. A list of subsidized courses currently being offered in California through two different training firms is available here.

Ongoing Training for Farm Employees

In addition to the required Grower Training certificate, all produce farms must show documentation of ongoing food safety training of farm employees.

Resources for training farm employees will be posted at a later date.


External Food Safety Links

Information on the Agricultural Water Provisions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to extend, for covered produce other than sprouts, the dates for compliance with the agricultural water provisions in the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption rule. FDA is proposing to extend the compliance dates to address questions about the practical implementation of compliance with certain provisions and to consider how FDA might further reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility while continuing to achieve our regulatory objectives, in keeping with the Administration's policies. For more information, please see the following:

How to Schedule an On-Farm Readiness Review

Are you ready for a Produce Safety Inspection? Find out now! In preparation for official Produce Safety Rule on-farm inspections beginning in 2019, CDFA is now offering a series of non-regulatory On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRRs). 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.