Food Safety Plans & GAP Audits

UVM-Extension sent out this information about GAPs Audits, help on writing your farm food safety plan, and other important goings on – scroll down for details on all of the items listed below.

  • Contact Ginger now if you want help with your farm safety plan (802-505-8189)
  • Getting GAPs Audited this year? Sign up with Steve Parise now!
  • New USDA GAPs Auditor this season
  • Upcoming GAPs workshop
  • On-line tool for writing a GAPs plan
  • Important Survey to Improve Crop Insurance
  • Grants for Women Farmers – due Feb 29th!
  • FDA’s Produce Safety Rules pending review- FSMA
  • Important Food Safety Summit for Vermont- March 22nd, Register now!
  • Upcoming Practical Food Safety Workshop
  • Updated CSA Produce Safety Website

Contact Ginger now if you want help with your farm safety plan (& new cell phone number!)
Now is the time to start creating your food safety plan before you get too caught up in the growing season.  If you would like help, e-mail me to schedule a farm visit now.  I try to do farm visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but can be flexible if necessary.  I am currently scheduling out to the third week in March. Also, please note I have a new cell phone number: 802-505-8189

Getting GAPs Audited this year? Sign up with Steve Parise now!
If you are planning on getting GAPs Audited this year, it is your responsibility to contact Steve Parise to let him know you would like to be Audited. (Steve will not be calling growers that were audited last year to see if you are planning on renewing your certification.)
Steve Parise: (802) 828-2436,  or

New USDA GAPs Auditor this season
While there are no major changes to the USDA GAPs Audit Checklist this year, you may have a new Auditor this year.  In addition to Steve Parise, Scott Dolan, Consumer Protection Specialist at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture will also be conducting USDA GAPs Audits. Welcome, Scott!

Upcoming GAPs Training workshops
Cornell Extension is offering two 2-day GAPs trainings for growers I highly recommend taking one of these workshops if you have not done a GAPs training and are planning on getting certified.
March 14 & 15, 2012
: Albany area
March 28 & 29, 2012
: Auburn, NY
For details:

On-line tool for writing a GAPs plan
Family Farmed.Org, in extensive collaboration with other organizations and food safety experts, has developed an on-line tool to help farmers create a food safety plan.  The tool is based on United Fresh’s harmonized GAPs, which is geared towards larger supermarket buyers, so it may differ a little from the USDA GAPs checklist.  I have not used this tool yet, so if you try it, please let us know how it worked for you!

Important Survey to Improve Crop Insurance
All VT Farms- even if you don’t have crop insurance. Your input is needed on this 10 minute survey to understand how we can better manage risks to crops and livestock. Are you at risk for weather, disease or pest related crop loss? Are you satisfied with crop insurance programs? How are you managing risk on your farm? The Post Irene Working Group has developed a short survey to assess how farms across all sectors are working to manage risks. We hope to learn what key steps can be taken to better protect our farm businesses from these risks into the future. Please click on the link below. It will lead you to the “Post Irene Production Risk Survey” on Survey Monkey. If you have any questions or you would like to complete a confidential paper based survey, contact or (802)223-2389 x207. Survey link:

Grants for Women Farmers – due Feb 29th!
Vermont farm women may apply for Business Development funds, Leadership Development funds or Disaster Recovery awards. Farm Business Development awards provide support for education and travel related to helping recipients improve some aspect of their business. Leadership Development awards provide support to help women farmers develop skills, access and opportunities to provide leadership in agricultural policy development. “Disaster Recovery” awards will assist flood-impacted farm women as they consider their business options for the future. Visit for more information. Click on the “Application Forms” link on the left to apply online, or, request an application package by calling Beth at 802-223-2389. Go to for application instructions. Or, follow the link to the online application at:

FDA’s Produce Safety Rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act pending review
Apparently the FDA has finished writing its proposed rules for the Produce Safety Regulation (Section 105); Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (Section 103) for the FSMA, and they are pending review at the Office of Management and Budget. I will keep you posted as to when the rules finally become available for public comment and review.  For more info:

Important Food Safety Summit for Vermont-still spaces for Farmers and Producers – Register Now!
The Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the University of Vermont Extension are planning a Vermont Food Safety Stakeholder Summit as the first step toward creating a state food safety task force to improve food safety from farm to plate in Vermont.  Space for the event is limited to 100 participants, so we are aiming to have as broad of representation across all stakeholder groups as possible.  There is still space for farmers and food processors -and we need your voices at the table! Please register online for the Summit at:
More info:

Upcoming Practical Food Safety Workshop (and Webinar)
We are in the process of planning a Practical Food Safety Workshop for April. This will be a day-long workshop during which you will draft your own farm food safety plan.  It is designed for farms that are not intending to be GAPs audited, but will give you a good foundation if you think you may want to get GAPs certification in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for e-mails from me with details on the workshop date and location. If you can’t wait and want to get started on the basic principles of Practical Food Safety you can watch an hour long webinar by signing in here:


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