The Produce Safety Alliance Training Courses
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is a collaboration between Cornell University, FDA, and USDA to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements included in the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The PSA has been tasked with developing the standardized national produce safety training program to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the requirement in § 112.22(c) that states ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’ The PSA has developed two types of training courses; a Grower Training Course and a Train-the-Trainer Course.
The PSA Grower Training Curriculum was created through a four-year nationwide development process. In 2011, after hosting an international gathering to review current educational resources, the PSA launched ten, open Working Committees (WCs), composed of one hundred seventy-eight unique members from academia, agriculture, industry, and regulatory agencies. The WCs identified key areas and learning objectives to be addressed in the grower curriculum. Additionally, grower preferences regarding produce safety training programs were collected by hosting eight in-person farmer focus groups nationwide, collecting feedback from eighty-nine produce growers. In 2015 and 2016, the PSA also engaged with the FDA Division of Produce Safety staff to align the curriculum content with the final FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements and incorporate the regulatory language throughout the curriculum modules and teaching notes. The seven module PSA Grower Training Course was designed to be delivered in one day, although multi-day trainings are an option.
PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses have been designed to prepare educators to deliver the PSA Grower Training Course to produce growers and become PSA Trainers or PSA Lead Trainers. During the two-day Train-the-Trainer Course, attendees will have the opportunity to experience all seven PSA Grower Training Course modules, and learn more about conducting effective trainings for growers. All information related to PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses is managed by the PSA and can be found on their website at: https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/training/train-trainer-course.