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2007. Farmers Markets: Keeping Produce Safe Before It Gets to the Market. This module is adapted with permission from: Food Safety Begins on the Farm: A Grower’s Guide by Anusuya Rangarajan, Elizabeth A. Bihn, Robert B. Gravani, Donna L. Scott and Marvis P. Pritts.

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farmers markets keeping produce safe before it gets to the market

2007

Farmers Markets: Keeping Produce Safe Before It Gets to the Market

This module is adapted with permission from: Food Safety Begins on the Farm: A Grower’s Guide by Anusuya Rangarajan, Elizabeth A. Bihn, Robert B. Gravani, Donna L. Scott and Marvis P. Pritts.

Cornell University – New York

Module designed by Tera Sandvik, LRD, Program Coordinator, and Julie Garden-Robinson, PhD, LRD, Food and Nutrition Specialist

the following tips will help you navigate through each module
The following tips will help you navigate through each module.
  • Click the left mouse button or the down arrow to continue on to the next bullet or slide.
  • Before you begin you’ll take a presurvey.
    • The presurvey will open in a new window.
    • When you are finished with the presurvey close the window to return to the module.
  • A symbolizes a question slide. You’ll need to click your mouse once to see the answer.
slide3
A means you’ll need to go to the site listed to answer the question.
    • After visiting the site, close the Internet browser to return to the module.
    • Click your mouse once to see the answer.
  • When you are finished with the module, you will take a post-survey.
    • The post-survey will open in a new window.
    • When you are finished with the post-survey, close the window to return to the module.
overview
Overview
  • This module provides basic information about agricultural and manufacturing practices.
  • These messages can be implemented on farms to reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens related to produce.
presurvey
Presurvey
  • Before we begin, let’s take a presurvey to see how much you already know.
  • Click here to begin the presurvey.
farmers markets and their growing popularity
Farmers Markets and Their GrowingPopularity
  • Farmers markets are growing in number quickly.
    • Consumer trends show an ever-increasing demand for fresh, healthy, locally grown food.
    • The number of farmers markets in the United States has increased 79% from 1994 to 2002.
some advantages of farmers markets
Some Advantages of Farmers Markets
  • Farmers potentially take more profits home and remove the “middleman.”
  • New growers can perfect their production skills and learn which products are in high demand.
  • Fees for space are minimal and little to no packaging is required.
  • Most regulations and business licenses already are taken care of by the sponsor.
keep food safe
Keep Food Safe
  • Vendors are responsible for the safety of the products they offer.
    • The food should be wholesome and safe.
    • Unhappy customers usually will not return!
keep food safe9
Keep Food Safe
  • In the 1998 Fresh Trends Survey, conducted by The Packer magazine, 60% of surveyed consumers are more concerned today than a year ago about salmonella and other bacteria on fresh produce.
keep food safe10
Keep Food Safe
  • Outbreaks of foodborne illness make news headlines on a regular basis.
  • In the United States, estimates are that as many as 76 million people contract some type of foodborne illness each year.
  • From 1973 through 1998, a significant increase occurred in the number of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with fresh produce.
a summary of the foodborne outbreaks from 1987 to the present shows
A summary of the foodborne outbreaks from 1987 to the present shows:
  • The number of outbreaks associated with fresh produce steadily increased
  • The number of people affected more than doubled
  • Various types of fruits and vegetables were involved
  • Three-quarters (75.3%) of the outbreaks were related to produce grown in the U.S.
  • Most outbreaks were caused by bacteria, especially salmonella species and E. coli 0157:H7
slide13

Which of the following greens had the most outbreaks from 1990 – 1998?

Click to see the answer.

A. Cabbage B. Sprouts C. Lettuce

If you selected “C,” you are correct! Lettuce was responsible for 16.7% of fresh produce outbreaks from 1990-1998.

who s responsible for the safety of products offered at a farmers market
Who’s responsible for the safety of products offered at a farmers market?
  • Vendors
  • Sponsors
  • Consumers
  • Click to see the answer.
  • Vendors
  • Sponsors
  • Consumers
  • Click to see the answer.

If you selected “A,” you are right! Each individual vendor is responsible for the products he or she sells.

internet mission
Internet Mission
  • For the next question let’s visit http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/yf/foods/fn608w.htm to find the answer. (This publication makes a great handout if you are selling fresh produce.)
  • According to USDA, if you are selling peeled, cut or cooked fresh fruit what must you do?

After viewing the Web site click to see the answer.

    • Refrigerate it within two hours
    • Cover it with wax paper
    • Cover it with plastic and place it on the display table

If you selected “A,” you are right!

what s causing increases in foodborne illness associated with fresh produce
What’s causing increases in foodborne illness associated with fresh produce?
  • The number of people more susceptible to foodborne illness has increased (especially the elderly).
  • Locations for buying produce have changed.
  • Consumer preferences have changed
    • People eat out more often.
    • Salad bars are more popular.
  • Microorganisms have adapted to stressful environments.
from farm to fork
From Farm to Fork
  • Bacteria, viruses and parasites have many opportunities to contaminate produce. One key to reducing the risk of outbreaks originating on the farm is the farm owner’s and workers’ commitment to food safety.
  • Growers need to be aware of the microorganism problems that can occur and take steps to help protect the public’s health.
  • Producers have no way to guarantee everything grown on the farm is free from harmful microorganisms. Taking some preventive measures during all steps of production can reduce these risks.
what are some sources of potential on farm contamination
Soil

Irrigation water

Animal manure

Inadequately composted manure

Wild and/or domestic animals

Inadequate worker hygiene

Harvesting equipment

Transport containers

Wash and rinse water

Equipment used to soak, pack or cut produce

Ice

Cooling units (hydrocoolers)

Transport vehicles

Improper storage conditions (temperature)

Improper packaging

Cross-contamination in storage, display or preparation

Unsanitary handling during sorting and packaging, in packing facilities, in wholesale or retail operations and at home

What are some sources of potential on-farm contamination?

Think of some possibilities, then click to see each item.

slide19
Now that we know some potential contaminants, let’s review the precautions we can take to avoid contaminating our food.
slide20
Soil
  • Review the land history:
    • What has it been used for?
    • Was it used for industrial dumping?
    • Has animal waste or sludge/biosolids been applied?
      • If so, when?
slide21
Soil
  • Choose fields upstream and upwind from animal housing to prevent runoff or drift from animal operations from entering produce fields.
  • Find out what surface water is being used for, upstream from your crop.
  • Do not graze livestock near produce fields and try to limit wild and domestic animal traffic in produce fields.
slide22
Soil
  • If manure was applied in the spring, avoid growing root/leafy crops because the manure still could harbor potential contaminants that could leech into root crops.
  • Plant agronomic or perennial crops instead of vegetables if you cannot observe a 120-day interval between manure application and harvest.
    • If your farm is certified organic, this rotation must be observed.
true or false
True or False:

True or False:

  • Grazing animals near a produce field is ok as long as the plant has not sprouted.

Click to see the answer.

Waste from grazing animals can contaminate a crop even if the plant has not sprouted.

water
Water
  • Identify a water source for irrigation
    • Municipal drinking water has the lowest risk of microbial contamination.
    • Potable well water has some risk of microbial contamination.
    • Surface water has a higher risk of microbial contamination.
water25
Water
  • Municipal drinking water or potable well water is ideal, but not always feasible to use for irrigating.
  • Surface water is used most commonly to

irrigate fruits and vegetables.

  • Producers need to take precautions.
    • Know what surface water is used for upstream and work with local watershed communities to better understand watershed areas.
    • Filter the water or use settling ponds to improve water quality if you have concerns.
water26
Water
  • Use potable water for crop protection sprays.
  • Test the water you are using.
    • Test municipal water annually.
    • Test potable water biannually.
    • Test surface water three times a year.

Keep records of all water tests.

water27
Water
  • Use drip irrigation whenever possible to minimize the risk of crop contamination.
    • Drip irrigation does not directly wet the edible parts of most crops and therefore decreases the risk of contamination.
  • Try not to use overhead irrigation within one week of harvest.
how often should potable water be tested
How often should potable water be tested?
  • Annually
  • Biannually
  • 3 times/year
  • Annually
  • Biannually
  • 3 times/year

If you chose “B,” you are correct. Potable water should be tested at least twice a year.

internet mission29
Internet Mission

Visit the “Bad Bug Book” at: http://www.agr.state.nc.us/cyber/kidswrld/foodsafe/badbug

/badbug.htm

and answer the following questions:

Clostridium Botulinum is characterized by which of the following symptoms?

  • Vertigo
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • All of the above

Click to see the answer.

internet mission cont http www agr state nc us cyber kidswrld foodsafe badbug badbug htm
Internet Mission Cont.http://www.agr.state.nc.us/cyber/kidswrld/foodsafe/badbug/badbug.htm

What foods have been associated

with E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks?

  • Undercooked ground beef
  • Raw milk
  • Raw produce
  • All of the above

Click to see the answer.

“D” is the correct answer.

newsflash
Newsflash

In September 1999, a water-borne outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 occurred in Washington County, New York. After heavy rains, water-containing E .coli O157:H7 contaminated a nearby well.

More than 1,000 people became ill and two died from drinking the contaminated well water.

animal manure
Animal Manure
  • Improperly aged or treated manure can increase microbial risks and contribute to foodborne illness.
  • E. coli O157:H7, salmonella and campylobacter can be present in manure slurry and soil for longer than 3 months.
  • Listeria monocytogenes can survive in the soil for much longer than 3 months.
  • Yersinia enterocolitica may survive, but not grow, in soil for almost a year.
storing manure
Storing Manure
  • Store slurry in continuously loaded systems for:
    • 60 days in the summer
    • 90 days in the winter prior to field application
  • Consider satellite storage for slurry used on produce fields.
  • Compost manure to properly eliminate pathogens.
  • If manure is not composted, allow it to age for at least six months and store manure as far away as practical from the produce fields.
slide34
Erect physical or wind barriers to prevent runoff and wind drift from manure piles when possible.
time applications and incorporating manure
Time applications and incorporating manure
  • Fall: Apply manure to planned vegetable ground preferably when soil is warm (>50 F), nonsaturated and cover cropped.
  • Spring: Incorporate manure two weeks prior to planting.
  • DO NOT harvest produce for 120 days after manure has been applied.
  • DO NOT side-dress with fresh or slurry manure, manure “tea” or mulches containing fresh manure.
  • Side-dressing with manure composts or compost teas is ok.
  • Keep records of application rates, source and dates.
slide36

Time applications and incorporating manure

  • Incorporate manure into the soil immediately after application.
  • When applying manure or slurry to vegetable or fruit ground:
    • Incorporate at least two weeks prior to planting.
    • Observe the suggested 120-day preharvest interval.
what ideal temperature should the soil be when applying manure in the fall
What ideal temperature should the soil be when applying manure in the fall?
  • 25 F
  • 40 F
  • 60 F
  • 25 F
  • 40 F
  • 60 F

Click to see the answer.

If you chose “C,” you are correct. Apply manure when the soil is >50 F.

wild and domestic animals
Wild and Domestic Animals

Keep domestic and wild animals out of production fields as much as possible to help reduce the risk of contamination. This is especially important close to harvest time.

worker facilities and hygiene
Worker Facilities and Hygiene

Inadequate field worker hygiene can contaminate produce.

  • Provide clean, convenient, well-maintained facilities.
  • Stock bathrooms with toilet paper, hand soap, potable water and disposable paper towels.
  • Provide facilities in the field and the packinghouse.
  • Educate workers on the importance of hygiene, restroom use and proper hand washing.
  • Provide bandages, clean gloves, hairnets and aprons as needed.
when to wash hands
When to Wash Hands
  • After using the restroom
  • Before starting or returning to work
  • Before and after eating or smoking

If workers choose to wear gloves, be sure they use them properly. Keep workers out of wet fields as much as possible to reduce the spread of plant or human pathogens.

sick employees
Sick Employees
  • Become familiar with typical signs and symptoms of infectious diseases.
  • Reassign sick workers to jobs that do not require direct contact with produce.
  • Help workers understand the importance of personal hygiene by holding training sessions.
internet mission42
Internet Mission

Go to www.fightbac.org to help find the answer to the next question. After visiting the Web site, click to see the answer.

What’s the proper way to wash your hands?

  • Wash with soap under warm water for 20 seconds.
  • Wash under warm soapy water.
  • Wash under warm water.

If you chose “A,” you are correct. The most effective way to wash your hands is with soap under warm water for 20 seconds.

internet mission cont
Internet Mission Cont

When should you wash your hands?

  • After going to the restroom
  • After petting an animal
  • Before preparing food
  • After preparing food
  • All of the above

When should you wash your hands?

  • After going to the restroom
  • After petting an animal
  • Before preparing food
  • After preparing food
  • All of the above

Click to see the answer.

“E” is the correct answer. Washing hands several times a day is important, especially after using the restroom, playing with animals and when preparing food.

production and harvest
Production and Harvest
  • Fresh produce may become contaminated during preharvest and harvest activities from contact with soil, fertilizers, water, workers and harvesting equipment.
  • Clean harvest storage facilities and containers or bins prior to use and discard damaged containers.
storage facility and containers
Storage: Facility and Containers
  • Wash, rinse and sanitize storage facilities, equipment and food contact surfaces before harvesting and storing crops.
    • Use approved products to sanitize food contact surfaces.
  • Remove as much dirt as practical outside the packing facility. Keep packing and storage areas clean, and establish and maintain a pest-control program.
  • Ensure that refrigeration equipment is working properly, and measure and record refrigeration unit temperatures at least once a week.
storage facility and containers46
Storage: Facility and Containers
  • Do not allow people to stand in bins during harvest.
    • Boots and shoes can carry pathogens and contaminate the harvest bins and produce.
    • Cover clean bins when not in use to avoid contamination by birds and animals. Clean equipment used to soak, pack or cut produce.
storage wash and rinse water
Storage: Wash and Rinse Water
  • Follow good manufacturing practices (GMPs) to ensure water quality is adequate at the start of and throughout all processes.
  • Maintain water quality by periodic testing, changing water regularly, and cleaning and sanitizing water contact surfaces.
storage packing plant
Storage: Packing Plant
  • Ensure that contaminated water and livestock waste cannot enter the packing plant via runoff or drift.
  • Wash, rinse and sanitize packing areas and floors at the end of each day.
  • Exclude all birds and animals from the packing plant by using screening where necessary.
storage packing plant49
Storage: Packing Plant
  • Do not allow workers to eat or smoke in the packing area.
  • Provide a separate break area where workers can eat, smoke and store personal items.
  • Make sure workers wash their hands before returning to work and after taking a break or using the restroom.
  • Do not wear field clothes into the packing plant.
washing operations and packing lines
Washing Operations and Packing Lines
  • Keep washing and packing operations clean and sanitary.
    • Use chlorinated water and other labeled disinfectants to wash produce.
    • Check with state regulatory agencies for restrictions and a complete list of registered sanitizers.
  • Change the water when it gets dirty or after a few hours of operation.
    • Use a sanitizer test kit or swimming pool kit to monitor the level of chlorine in the sanitizer solution.
    • Keep the chlorine active by maintaining a pH of 6 to 7.
washing operations and packing lines51
Washing Operations and Packing Lines
  • At the end of the day, wash, rinse and sanitize the packing line belts, conveyors and food contact surfaces to avoid buildup of harmful microorganisms.
cooling operations cooling units
Cooling Operations/Cooling Units
  • Cool fruits and vegetables as soon as possible to minimize the growth of pathogens and maintain good quality.
  • Maintain temperatures that promote optimum produce quality and minimize pathogen growth.
  • Do not overload refrigeration rooms beyond their cooling capacity.
  • Keep equipment clean and sanitary, and only make ice with potable water.
transportation
Transportation
  • Use good hygiene and sanitation practices when loading, unloading and inspecting fresh produce.
    • Load produce to minimize physical damage.
  • All foods must be wrapped, covered or placed in sealed, washable containers during transport to the market to prevent contamination with dirt and bacteria.
transportation54
Transportation
  • Vehicles and containers used to transport food must be kept clean, disinfected and in good repair.
  • Keep cleaning products and food separate.
  • Consider temperature control to limit the growth of bacteria and reduce the risk of food poisoning.
    • Generally, bacteria will not grow at temperatures below or above the danger zone (40 to 140 F).
  • Avoid transporting produce in trucks that have carried live animals or harmful substances.
    • If those vehicles must be used, thoroughly wash, rinse and sanitize them before transporting fresh produce.
which of the following temperatures is ideal for bacteria growth
Which of the following temperatures is ideal for bacteria growth?
  • 32 F
  • 155 F
  • 70 F
  • 32 F
  • 155 F
  • 70 F

Click to see the answer.

If you chose“C,” you are correct. Keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold is important so they don’t linger in the “Danger Zone” (40 F to 140 F).

preparation
Preparation
  • Wash your hands often, especially when handling unwrapped foods.
  • Use soap and disposable paper towels.
  • Always wash your hands before handling food, after using the toilet, after handling raw food or waste and after every break.
  • Ensure an adequate supply of potable water for cleaning your hands, equipment and food. Surfaces and equipment that come into contact with food must be kept clean and disinfected.
  • Use a food-grade disinfectant.
display
Display
  • Do not set food on the ground.
  • Keep the amount of food on display to a minimum.
  • Use the FIFO (first-in-first-out) method for rotating stock, and store raw and cooked foods separately.
  • Use potable water to make ice that will come into contact with food and beverages.
service
Service
  • While serving customers, avoid touching the food; instead use spoons, tongs, plastic wrap or disposable gloves.
  • Encourage customers to wash fresh produce before consumption.
other things considered
Other things considered
  • Consider market policies regarding:
    • Rules and regulations
    • Value-added products
    • Displays and samples
  • Visit the farmers markets where you might want to sell your products and talk to the manager about rules and regulations.
post survey
Post-survey
  • Let’s see what you’ve learned.
  • Click here to begin the post-survey.
  • The last slide shows additional resources.
  • After the slideshow is done go to “File” and click on “Print.”
  • A box will open up.
  • Click on “Slides” under “Print Range.”
  • Type in “61” and click on “okay.”
learn more about farmers markets and food safety with the following online resources
Learn more about farmers markets and food safety with the following online resources
  • For printable brochures visit:
  • North Dakota State University

www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/safe-links.htm

  • Check with your local Extension office and/or county health department about licensing in your area

NDSU is an equal opportunity institution.