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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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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Produce Safety for
Grant Recipients

New growers are faced with many decisions in building sustainable practices while diversifying or expanding their operations. NCSU/NC Cooperative Extension Fresh Produce Safety Program is working with new grant recipients from the WNC Ag Options (http://www.wncagoptions.org) to offer advise, resources, and updates on the Proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Growers need to understand how the new proposed laws will effect their operations and the timelines involved. This presentation was given on February 12, 2015 to the grant recipients. Please contact Diane_Ducharme@ncsu.edu if you have any questions or need clarifications/resources.

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FDA-FSMA-200x221

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 Production
Food Safety

Working in partnership with the North Carolina Strawberry 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. While each of the workshops can be taken independently of each other, it is recommended to take both workshops to receive the full content of resources developed specifically for strawberry growers. 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 Block Grant Program.

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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Food Safety Events
Across the State

Because you have been asking.....Here are some food safety events/talks that are going on across the state. February 12, 2015 WNC Ag Options Workshop Food Safety – What does it mean for a new grower? Speaker: Diane Ducharme Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center Mills River, NC 28759 For More Information and Registration: http://www.wncagoptions.org February 23, 2015 Piedmont Grown Annual Conference: Growing Your Farm/Food Business: The Power of Branding Farming Without Losing Your Shirt (Food Safety & GAPs) Speaker: Diane Ducharme North Carolina Research Center, Kannapolis, NC For More Information and Registration: http://stokes.ces.ncsu.edu/2015/01/2015-piedmont-grown-conference/ March 4th & 18th, 2015 Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop Series Speaker: Diane Ducharme Lincoln County Office of NC Cooperative Extension For More Information and Registration:http://ncfreshproducesafety.ces.ncsu.edu/spotlight/lincoln-county-fresh-produce-good-agricultural-practices-workshop-series/ March 10th & 11th, 2015 Strawberry Production Food Safety Workshop- Wilson County Day One: March 10th, 2015 from 1 PM – 4 pm Speakers: Dr. Chris Gunter and Diane Ducharme 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) Speakers:Dr. Chris Gunter (NCSU), Dr. Anita MacMillan (NCDA) and Diane Ducharme (NCSU) Location to Meet at: Wilson County Office of NC Cooperative Extension | 1806 SW Goldsboro Street Wilson, NC 27893 For More Information and Registration:http://ncfreshproducesafety.ces.ncsu.edu/spotlight/strawberry-production-food-safety/

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NEWS View All

Human Noroviruses, Berries, and Resources

With the recent recall of frozen berries, implicating pomegranate seeds with Hepatitis A it is even more important to be aware of noroviruses. Human noroviruses are the most common cause of food borne MORE »

NC Cantaloupe Outreach Pilot Program

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is partnering with N.C. State University Cooperative Extension to offer the N.C. Cantaloupe Pilot Program. The N.C. cantaloupe pilot program will consist of education and outreach MORE »

FDA Public Meetings on the Proposed FSMA Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): Proposed Rules for Produce Safety and for the Preventive Controls for Human Food Public Meeting. The first meeting in MORE »

Food Safety Audit Training for Farmers

Food Safety Audit Training for Farmers Today every farm, large or small, needs to have a smart plan for ensuring food safety. “Good Agricultural Practices” or “GAP” certification is one way to put a MORE »

Food Safety Team Wins 2013 Opal Mann Green Award

The NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force has received a 2013 Opal Mann Green Engagement Award. The recognition rewards authentic teamwork across the organizational structures within the university and community. It reflects programs that have MORE »

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EVENTS View All
Lincoln County Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop SeriesWed Mar 4, 2015
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Where:
Lincoln County Center: 115 West Main Street, Lincolnton, NC 28092
— 3 days away
Strawberry Production Food SafetyTue Mar 10, 2015
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Where:
With Wilson County Center @ Dean’s Farm Market 4231 N. Carolina 42 Wilson, NC 27893
— 1 week away
Strawberry Production Food SafetyWed Mar 11, 2015 @ 9:00 PM -
Thu Mar 12, 2015 @ 4:00 AM Where:
Wilson County Center Cooperative Extension
— 1 week away
Lincoln County Fresh Produce Good Agricultural Practices Workshop SeriesWed Mar 18, 2015
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Where:
Lincoln County Center: 115 West Main Street, Lincolnton, NC 28092
— 2 weeks away
More Events