Producers can attend a free food safety training to learn how to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The session will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at the 1890 Extension Complex at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Refreshments and lunch will be served.

The workshop is sponsored by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA.)

The Food Safety Modernization Act comprises the first mandatory federal standards for the production, harvesting and handling of fruits and vegetables in the U.S., said Henry English, director of the Small Farm Program at UAPB. The training is intended to educate Arkansas producers about the act’s requirements.

“According to FSMA guidelines, one supervisor or responsible party for each farm must have successfully completed food safety training equivalent to that received under the standardized curriculum recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” he said. “The upcoming training satisfies this requirement, and producers will receive a certificate of course completion, as well as a PSA grower manual.”

Attendees will also learn about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) that can be used in developing food safety plans for their operation. These practices help producers verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored as safely as possible to minimize the risk of microbial food safety hazards.

Those who plan to attend are asked to call 870-575-7246 or 870-575-7226, so event organizers can have an accurate count for lunch and for the educational publications that will be provided.

The 1890 Extension Center complex is located at the corner of Oliver and L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive at Pine Bluff.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.