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Conference Name Produce Safety Trainings: Lessons from Nevada

Seth Urbanowitz and Carol Bishop


Foodborne illness and produce safety have become more of a concern for many consumers. In addition, food safety assurances have become a requirement by many buyers, distributors and risk-averse institutions as entities attempt to mitigate risk to their operations. However, many producers find food safety practices and assurances intrusive and/or too costly to implement on their farm. The Food Safety Modernization Act is also influencing how produce safety is regulated and managed along the supply chain. Regulations, buyer demands and certification costs will help to determine certifications and educational trainings sought. Greater adoption of food safety practices and assurances will allow for Nevada specialty crop producers to better compete with producers from outside Nevada and minimize the risk of legal action.

Two years of produce safety programming to reduce marketing and legal risks in a state with minimal produce infrastructure offers unique lessons in programming content, partnering, grant-seeking and producer acceptance. At the onset of the program there was no produce safety outreach being conducted in Nevada. The program sought to educate producers on best practices associated with on-farm produce safety in the context of increased market access and legal risk mitigation, as well as develop a network of people working toward a common goal. An overview of the current state of food safety in Nevada, successes, opportunities for improvement and programming needs will be presented.

Presentation Materials