Goal was to develop a suite of educational materials in English and Spanish
With funding from USDA NIFA award number 2017-70020-27236, Penn State Extension educators from the Food Safety and Horticulture teams developed bilingual Produce Safety educational materials and delivered trainings to Latino Fresh Produce Growers and Farmworkers in Pennsylvania.
While the U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, Congress entrusted the FDA to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This new law changed the food safety system from one that responds to contamination to one that prevents it in the first place. Among the suite of new regulations issued under the law is “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” (USFDA, 2013) commonly known as the “Produce Safety Rule.” The Produce Safety Rule poses new regulatory challenges to the fresh produce industry in Pennsylvania and across the country. Latino growers and farmworkers had an unmet need for accessible Food Safety and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) information, education, and resources. In order to provide short, easy-to-understand information, Extension focused their educational materials and trainings on topics such as personal hygiene, microorganisms and sources of contamination during, before and after harvest.
The Extension team began by collecting, assessing, and archiving pre-existing educational materials related to FSMA and Farm Food Safety education available at the Penn State website. They identified gaps in programming in regards to content and methodology. As a result, 10 articles and 2 fact sheets were translated. The team reviewed and updated the Food Safety Training Kit and the GAP posters to match new PSA curricula and created a catalogue of available information in English and Spanish.
With support from stakeholders, Extension determined where the greatest needs in programming were and then developed new educational materials and workshops specific to various industry groups.
The team created a number of innovative, new food safety (GAPs) outreach, education, and training programs in English and Spanish, including 11 trainings and professional development with a total of 24 presentations.
To find all the newly available resources, please visit Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/bilingual-produce-safety-education