Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Offered

February 13, 2014

Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Offered

Commercial kitchens are required to meet certain health standards to help protect consumers from food-borne illnesses, but what about preventing potential health risks before it even reaches the marketplace? That’s the focus of a USDA training program called “Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)” to be offered Friday March 21, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Jefferson County Extension Office, 4618 Broadway, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

The workshop will present strategies for controlling potential contamination throughout all phases of planting, production, harvesting, and post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables. Topics will cover what pathogens contaminate food, how contamination occurs, personal hygiene, soil amendments, water quality, record keeping, and how to mitigate risks in the event of a food-borne disease outbreak. Discussions will also cover developing a food safety plan for your farm, as well as basic information on farm audits for those interested in selling to commercial buyers.

This program will be useful to fruit and vegetable growers, market masters and vendors of farmers’ markets, non-profit organizations that grow food, and the general public wanting to know more about food safety.

Cost per participant is $15.00 per person. Registration is required by March 14, 2014. Lunch, light refreshments and handouts will be provided. For questions or to register by phone, call (618) 242-0780. Or register online at