Assessment of Midwest Growers’ Needs for Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule

Bridget Perry, Angela Shaw, Ellen Johnsen, Arlene Enderton, Catherine H. Strohbehn, Linda Naeve

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 212-217, May 2019

Volume 39, Issue 3: Pages 212–217

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Increases in outbreaks of foodborne illnesses traced to fruits or vegetables have resulted in a food safety policy shift in the United States (U.S.) from reaction to a focus on prevention of outbreaks. This research assessed the knowledge and educational needs of produce growers in the north central region of the U.S. with regard to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, using a modified Delphi approach. The tool gathered information about educational needs and preferred methods of educational delivery from growers over two rounds, with the second round of the assessment survey informed by the first round. Through use of a ranking scale (1 representing the least understood topic and 4 the most understood topic), participants (n = 410) in the second round indicated that the least understood topics were related to biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) (mean rank 2.18) and agricultural water (mean rank 2.49). Growers preferred to obtain information from extension publications/fact sheets, printed checklists, hands-on/experiential events, and text-based information rather than from DVDs and flash drives. Based on these results, educational materials in the form of fact sheets that focused on BSAAO and agricultural water were developed for produce growers in the north central region.

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