Today I attended and presented at the Maryland Master Gardener Annual Training Day. I would say the day was a huge success! I know that I certainly learned a lot from each of the speakers I was able to see today. I also want to thank the great audience participants of my presentation on Food Safety in Home and Community Gardens. I was excited to see that so many people are interested in practicing food-safe gardening techniques in their home, youth and community gardens!
For those who could not attend we talked about how food safety pathogens can be introduced during the growing, harvesting, storage and preparation of garden produce. I talked about Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) as the standard of food safety in agriculture and gardening. GAPS principals include understanding how water, soil, site design, garden building materials, garden containers, animals, harvesting/watering containers and human hygiene affect food safety in the garden. For youth and community food gardeners I also recommended working with your team to develop and implement a food safety plan.
There are so many great cooperative extension and government fact sheets and websites on the different aspects of food safety. The resources below are the ones I highlighted during my presentation as trusted sources of information.
If you work with a community or youth garden group and want to attend or arrange a food safety training for your team members you can contact your local extension office or also feel free to contact me directly to help you set that up. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 301-590-2811. Good luck and happy (and safe) gardening!
For Community Gardens:
North Carolina Extension. Food Safety in Community Gardens. http://nccommunitygardens.ces.ncsu.edu/nccommunitygardens-food-safety-in-community-gardens/
Maine Extension. Five Steps to Food Safe Gardening. http://umaine.edu/gardening/resources/five-steps-to-food-safe-fruit-and-vegetable-gardening/
For Youth and School Gardens:
UME Food Safety in Youth Gardens: http://extension.umd.edu/growit/youth-gardening/food-safety-school-garden
USDA Food Safety Tips for School Gardens: http://nfsmi.org/documentlibraryfiles/PDF/20110822025700.pdf
UME. Soil Testing. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing
Safe Produce Storage:
University of Minnesota Extension. Harvesting and storing Home Garden Vegetables. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/harvesting-and-storing-home-garden-vegetables/
University of Wisconsin Extension. Storing Vegetables from the Garden. http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/A3823.pdf
Cornell Extension. Storage Guidelines for Fruit and Vegetables http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/vegetables/storage.pdf
University of Connecticut Extension. Garden to Table Storing Garden Produce http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/food/documents/RItrainingStorageChart-one_001.pdf
Food Safety during Preparation/Cooking/Serving
US Department of Health and Human Services. www.foodsafety.gov
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. www.fsis.usda.gov (note: go to topicsà fact sheets)
UMD. Food Safety on the Go Online Training Modules: http://nfsc.umd.edu/programs/foodsafety
USDA. Cooking for Groups Booklet: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/Cooking_for_Groups.pdf
National Center for Food Preservation. http://nchfp.uga.edu/ (Includes online training in home food preservation)
UME. Food Preservation Webpage. http://extension.umd.edu/foodpreservation
USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html
For Farmers/Large Scale Production
USDA. Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/ProduceandPlanProducts/UCM169112.pdf