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Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) workshop is being offered by University of Illinois Extension Unit 13 on Monday, March 4 at the Champaign County Extension Office, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Suite D, Champaign.
Food safety begins with sound practices on the farm, especially with fresh vegetable and fruit produce that is eaten raw. Recent outbreaks of food borne illnesses involving both fresh and processed food products have heightened public concern about food safety. Increasingly more consumers want to know how their food is grown.
Most fresh produce retailers now require the producers who supply them to have 3rd party audits to verify safe food production and handling practices on the farm. The recently signed bill on food safety overhaul underscores the growing emphasis on food safety and the need for fresh produce farmers to produce a safe product.
This workshop has benefits for all producers, retailers and wholesalers in supermarkets, Farmers' Markets, or for business owners in service industries. In particular, the GAPs workshop will equip producers with the knowledge to put together a written food safety plan. By becoming food safety compliant, producers will stay competitive in the specialty produce business.
The following topics will be covered: GAPs produce safety impacts; Post-harvest produce handling; Water quality and testing; Auditing farms for GAPs/food safety; Soil management/manure management; Worker health and hygiene
Pre-registration is required. There is a registration fee which includes a box lunch. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m. To register log on tothe following website: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/index.htmlhttp://web.extension.il... or call 217-333-7672.
University of Illinois Extension offers educational programs that are aimed at making life better, healthier, safer and more profitable for individuals and communities throughout Illinois. Volunteers who serve on local Extension councils help to determine program priorities at the county level.
For more information on U of I Extension programs in Champaign, Ford-Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties, please visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/index.htmlhttp://web.extension.il... or phone in Champaign: 217-333-7672, Ford-Iroquois: 815-268-4051, or Vermilion: 217-422-8615.