Berrien Conservation District

Berrien County Conservation District

Safe Food Assessment

The Safe Food Risk Assessment has been developed and is aligned with USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) requirements, but is small farm scale- appropriate. The purpose of the project is to encourage more farmer adoption of cost-effective food safety management practices that can be implemented and maintained by those producers not currently seeking a certified food safety audit. It is designed to educate producers, evaluate on-farm practices, provide food safety technical assistance and recognize small/locally grown fruit and vegetable growers who follow safe food practices. This is a free, voluntary program and will be delivered by a trained Conservation District technician. A Safe Food Farm Certificate of Completion will be awarded when a participating grower implements an action plan to correct potential food safety risks identified on the farm and is able to demonstrate or document conformance with at least 80 percent of the key food-safety management practices. The program will enhance grower awareness and adoption of safe food management practices, as well as improve their competitiveness in the marketplace.

Many grocery chains and institutional produce buyers have addressed consumer food-safety concerns by requiring a Certified Food Safety Farm Audit from their fresh produce growers and suppliers. A number of public and private organizations can assist producers who wish to have a certified audit. The Safe Food Risk Assessment is not for farms that require a certified food safety farm audit; however, the completion of the assessment will help prepare for a certified food- safety farm audit. A successful completion of this assessment will support the growing public interest in healthy local foods.

For details about the program, or to make an appointment to conduct the assessment, contact Suzanne Forraht at the Berrien Conservation District at 269- 471-9111 x121, or Email [email protected]