BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) will hold four outreach meetings around the state to update produce industry stakeholders on the implementation of the new Produce Safety Rule from the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
“It is important to keep our stakeholders informed about the new rule and how it impacts the produce industry in Louisiana,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “The new rule promotes compliance with the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.”
Representatives from LDAF, LSU AgCenter, Southern University AgCenter and the Food & Drug Administration will be in attendance at these meetings to answer questions.
The informational meetings scheduled are as follows:
September 26, 2018
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Rapides Parish Cooperative Extension Office
300 Grady Britt drive
Alexandria, La. 71302
September 27, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station
1373 Caffey Road
Rayne, La. 70578
September 28, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station
21549 Old Covington Highway
Hammond, La. 70403
October 2, 2018
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Courtyard by Marriott
1309 Maxwell Boulevard
Ruston, La. 71270
Louisiana was awarded $3.625 million by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the rule.
The cooperative agreement between the FDA and the states provides awardees with the resources to formulate a multi-year plan to implement a produce safety system, develop and provide education, outreach and technical assistance, and develop programs to address specific needs of the growers in their farming communities.
Issues that will be addressed include water quality, applications of raw manure and how to minimize risk of contamination, health and hygiene training for farm personnel who handle fresh produce and sanitation of equipment, tools and buildings.
States and territories were eligible based on the estimated number of farms growing produce within their jurisdictions.
Registration for the meetings is free but seating is limited. Please contact Rebecca Womack at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 935-2159 to register for a meeting.