On-farm Food Safety
Fresh produce contamination is a significant concern regardless of the produce grown, production system used, size of farm, or market outlet. Reducing contamination risks begins on the farm, and there are many practices growers can implement as a means to reduce risks. These are called Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and they relate to water and soil quality, especially as impacted by wildlife and livestock management; worker health and hygiene including proper produce handling during production, harvest, and post-harvest; and ensuring traceability of the product from the farm to the marketplace. Growers can incorporate these practices to reduce produce contamination.
Virginia Cooperative Extension's Fresh Produce Food Safety team is spearheading statewide efforts to support the implementation of practical and effective on-farm food safety practices through comprehensive, interdisciplinary fresh produce food safety education.