Food Safety Resources for Producers
Food safety is taking center stage in America. Consumers and retailers are demanding accountability when it comes to producing, buying and selling fresh produce. Developing, implementing and auditing a food safety plan are essential to Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and it can reduce both health and business risks for consumers and growers. This page is a collection of resources for food producers.
Iowa Produce Safety Team
The Iowa State University Produce Food Safety Team is a multidiscipline group that includes campus and county based members within Iowa State University. http://www.safeproduce.cals.iastate.edu/
Iowa GAP Cost-Share Program
Iowa fruit and vegetable farmers can apply for a cost-share grant to assist with the costs of independent food safety certification of an operation's good agricultural practices (GAPs). The program is available through the Iowa Food Hub with support from an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Specialty Crop Block Grant. The program is available to any Iowa grower.
Iowa GroupGAP Network
GroupGAP is a USDA farm food safety program that provides the entire specialty crops industry the opportunity to supply and buy fruits, vegetables, and related products that are certified as being produced using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). By allowing allows farmers, food hubs, and marketing organizations of all sizes to band together and pool resources to achieve USDA GAP certification, GroupGAP is helping more farmers supply fresh, local produce to retail and institutional markets, and providing buyers and consumers alike with more purchasing and product options. The Iowa GroupGAP Network is hosted by Iowa Food Hub.
USDA GroupGAP Program
Creating a Food Safety Plan - Templates
FSP4U - A Food Safety Plan for You - University of Minnesota
Iowa GroupGAP template
Third Party Audits
Video: Fresh Produce Safety - NC Mock Field Audit
Third Party Audit Resources - NC State
Finding Certified Farms
USDA GAP Certification Database
MOSA Certified Organic Farm Database
Marketing Local Foods in Iowa - Regulations
As new agriculture entrepreneurs consider producing and marketing food products and current producers seek new markets, they need to conduct preliminary research to determine if there are rules, regulations, certifications, or licenses required for their product or selected market. This series of publications will help.
Other Extension Publications:
Checklist for Retail Purchasing of Local Produce
Buying Local Foods for Retail Foodservices
On-farm Food Safety: Guide to Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
On-farm Food Safety: Guide to Food Handling
On-farm Food Safety: Guide to Cleaning and Sanitizing