Knowledge and Implementation of Good Agricultural Practices among Kentucky Fresh Produce Farmers
Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 111-121, Mar 2018
Volume 38, Issue 2: Pages 111–121
Kentucky fresh produce farmers’ food safety practices, knowledge of food safety, and acceptance of food safety certi cations such as Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) have been largely unknown. The purpose of this research was to assess the knowledge and practices of Kentucky growers pertaining to GAPs. Data were analyzed from 160 questionnaires completed by fresh produce growers on-site at farmers’ markets in 21 Kentucky counties. The results were mixed, with 90% of participants indicating familiarity with GAPs but only 47% opting to practice water quality GAPs and 55% choosing to observe soil amendment GAPs. Participants did report higher compliance with eld sanitation (71%) and sanitary facilities (73%) GAPs, but indicated that cost (67%) and time (68%) were signi cant perceived barriers to completing GAPs audits. Participants failed to identify many sources of potential microbiological contamination, with soil being identi ed as a source of pathogenic contamination by only 41% of participants and irrigation water by 51% of participants. Even fewer participants believed that contamination could result from ice (26%) or refrigeration and cooling (28%). While many Kentucky farmers are aware of GAPs, this study highlights the need for further GAPs education to advance the understanding of food safety practices among farmers.
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