'Good Agricultural Practices' program to be offered Nov. 9 in
safety begins in the field
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[October 20, 2012]
URBANA -- Commercial kitchens
are required to meet certain health standards to help protect
consumers from foodborne illnesses, but what about preventing
potential health risks before food even reaches the marketplace?
That's the focus of a USDA training program called "Good
Agricultural Practices," or GAPs, to be offered Nov. 9 from 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. in Springfield.
"The workshop presents strategies for controlling potential
contamination before planting and throughout all phases of
planting, production, harvesting and post-harvest handling,"
said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, University of Illinois Extension
local food systems and small farm educator.
said the workshop will be useful to fruit and vegetable growers,
farmers market vendors, and nonprofit organizations that grow
The U of I Extension will host the workshop.
Kankakee County Extension educator James Theuri said that
when the Food Safety Modernization Act becomes operative, GAP
training will be even more important for those who market fresh
"Food safety liability is important for everyone, even people
who grow vegetables on a small scale," Theuri said. "The
short-term purpose of this workshop is to increase awareness of
food safety concerns in food."
The workshop will look at:
How to mitigate risks in the event
of a foodborne disease outbreak.
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"At the end of the one-day GAPs training, participants should know
what an audit for food safety entails and also how to write a food
safety plan. The long-term goal is to increase Illinois produce
(food) competitiveness in the market," said Ellen Philips, U of I
Extension local food systems and small farm educator.
The workshop will cost $30 per person, which includes a GAP
resource notebook and lunch. The training program will be at the
University of Illinois Extension office at 700 S. Airport Drive in
To register, visit
registration/?RegistrationID=6413. For more information, or to
register by phone, call or email Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at
The workshop is partially funded by a USDA grant from the
Illinois Department of Agriculture to enhance food safety.
[By DEBRA LEVEY LARSON, University of Illinois Extension]