Produce safety course set for April 28 in Overton

  • Writer: Adam Russell, 903-834-6191, adam.russell@ag.tamu.edu
  • Contact: Dr. Joe Masabni, 903-834-6191, joe.masabni@ag.tamu.edu

OVERTON – A produce safety course will be at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1710 Farm-to-Market Road 3053 N. in Overton on April 28.

The course will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $100 for individuals, couples from the same household or co-workers from the same operation. Entry covers lunch, refreshments, educational materials and one certificate of completion.

Register online at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ProduceSafety or by phone at 979-845-2604.

Produce safety certification should be a consideration for growers who plan to sell produce to retailers or directly to the public. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Adam Russell)

Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Overton, will be the primary speaker for course subjects. Dr. Matt Taylor, Texas A&M AgriLife Research animal science associate professor in College Station, and Richard De Los Santos, Texas Department of Agriculture marketing coordinator in Austin, are also expected to speak.

Masabni said the course was in response to new Food Safety Modernization Act produce safety rules and the increasing demand from producers to learn about proper food-handling methods.

“This event will teach growers about good agricultural practices and the new FSMA produce safety rules that are important to ensure produce is safely brought to market for consumers,” he said. “Many retailers require certification from producers, but it is also important knowledge for producers who intend to market their farm and produce to the public directly.”

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety.
  • Worker Health, Hygiene and Training.
  • Soil Amendments.
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use.
  • Agricultural Water – Part 1: Production Water.
  • Agricultural Water – Part 2: Postharvest Water.
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation.
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.

Masabni and the guest speakers will participate in a question and answer session following the course topics.

If residents around the state wish to host similar events in their area, Masabni said he is willing to travel for groups of 10 or more.

“There are two of us who teach these courses around the state,” he said. “We understand not everyone can travel to attend them in certain areas, and we want to meet the needs of our producers.”

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