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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Choosing and Using
Chlorine-Based Products

A serious issue has been brought to the attention of the North Carolina Fresh Produce Task Force (NCFPSTF) regarding the use of household bleach mixed with soap when washing and disinfecting fresh produce. We want to remind you that only FOOD GRADE chlorine-based disinfectants can be used when disinfecting fruits and vegetables. Most growers have a ready-to-eat product that can only be in direct contact with chlorine solutions that are approved under the food code of federal regulations Chapter 21 CFR Part 173.  Please also avoid mixing non-food-grade soaps or other chemicals that are not food grade and/or not intended to be used in combination with chlorine solutions. Chlorine will react with some of these chemicals generating carcinogenic compounds that will remain in direct contact with the fruit or vegetable being disinfected. If you are in doubt of which food grade chlorine-based disinfectants to use in direct contact with fruits and vegetables or how to handle and prepare these solutions, please refer to the pamphlet linked below describing this and other important aspects linked to food grade chlorine-based disinfectants. The NCFPSTF will be hosting workshops in the next two months targeting this specific practice.  Further information of the locations, dates, and times will be provided in the near future.   FBNS Fact Sheet: Choosing and Using Chlorine-Based Products (PDF) Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez, PhD Assistant Professor - Extension Specialist egutier2@ncsu.edu

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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Choosing and Using
Chlorine-Based Products

A serious issue has been brought to the attention of the North Carolina Fresh Produce Task Force (NCFPSTF) regarding the use of household bleach mixed with soap when washing and disinfecting fresh produce. We want to remind you that only FOOD GRADE chlorine-based disinfectants can be used when disinfecting fruits and vegetables. Most growers have a ready-to-eat product that can only be in direct contact with chlorine solutions that are approved under the food code of federal regulations Chapter 21 CFR Part 173.  Please also avoid mixing non-food-grade soaps or other chemicals that are not food grade and/or not intended to be used in combination with chlorine solutions. Chlorine will react with some of these chemicals generating carcinogenic compounds that will remain in direct contact with the fruit or vegetable being disinfected. If you are in doubt of which food grade chlorine-based disinfectants to use in direct contact with fruits and vegetables or how to handle and prepare these solutions, please refer to the pamphlet linked below describing this and other important aspects linked to food grade chlorine-based disinfectants. The NCFPSTF will be hosting workshops in the next two months targeting this specific practice.  Further information of the locations, dates, and times will be provided in the near future.   FBNS Fact Sheet: Choosing and Using Chlorine-Based Products (PDF) Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez, PhD Assistant Professor - Extension Specialist egutier2@ncsu.edu

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FDA's FSMA Proposed
Rules and Resources

PowerPoint Created to Assist Growers in Understanding the Two FSMA Proposed Rules. In cooperation with the NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, NCSU/NC Cooperative Extension have developed a powerpoint slide presentation outlining the details of the proposed produce safety rule as well as the preventative controls rule.

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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Strawberry Good
Agricultural Practices Workshop Series

Working in partnership with the NC Strawberry Growers Association, Wilson County Cooperative Extension and the North Carolina State University, a 2-part workshop will be offered to provide farmers with strawberry-specific tools needed to identify potential food safety concerns, strategies to minimize potential contamination as well as assist growers in food safety discussions with their clients, whether school tours, community supported agriculture (CSA) members or u-pick customers. The first workshop will meet on the farm (Dean’s Farm Market) to investigate food safety risks that are associated with growing strawberries. We will have practical examples with applied methods for remediation. Discussions and examples of effective messages that can be expressed to direct market clients will be shared. The second workshop will meet at the Wilson County Office of NC Cooperative Extension to provide an update and potential implications from the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Rule, discussions on a food safety program and offer implementation mechanisms for a food safety plan. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the confusing and sometimes scary reality of food safety as it plays out on their own farms and markets. Resources will be given to attending participants to include: ⋅ Audit and GAPS Cost share information ⋅ Cornell Decision Tree Checklist ⋅ Crisis Communication/Handling a Food Recall/Model Recall Letter ⋅ Strawberry Picking Education poster ⋅ Strawberry Food Safety Messages for PYO ⋅ Receive GAP food safety plan template (s) ⋅ A certificate of attendance for GAPS training Workshops presenters include Dr. Chris Gunter (NCSU), Anita MacMillian (NCDA), and Diane Ducharme (NCSU). Strawberry GAP Workshop- Wilson County Day One: March 10th, 2015 from 1 PM – 4 pm Location to Meet at: Dean's Farm Market 4231 N. Carolina 42 Wilson, NC 27893 Day Two: March 11, 2015 from 9 am – 4 pm (Lunch Provided with registration) Location to Meet at: Wilson County Office of NC Cooperative Extension | 1806 SW Goldsboro Street Wilson, NC 27893 Registration is $10 and includes lunch for 2nd day. Space is limited and available on a first come basis. To register call Connie Bailey @ (252) 237-0111 or email @ Connie_Bailey@ncsu.edu by March 3rd, 2015. Please contact Diane_Ducharme@ncsu.edu or 704-250-5402 if you have questions about workshop or content. This project is supported in part by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Blok Grant Program.

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