This article was written collaboratively by Joan Hegerfeld-Baker (former SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist), Lavonne Meyer (former SDSU Extension Food Safety Field Specialist) and Chris Zdorovstov (former SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist).
The overall goal of this project is to reduce food safety risks associated with unsafe food processing and handling of fruits and vegetables and other specialty foods, and provide opportunities for specialty growers to meet the food safety standards and regulations to expand their specialty crops through additional retail markets. This is a three-year project requesting $49,791 to allow for development, implementation, evaluation and sustainability.
Meeting food safety standards in South Dakota and beyond our borders:
- Self-studies delivered through Internet to assist growers in meeting the standards to achieve verification of a safe processing method. Focus on tested and recommended safe food handling practices of fresh produce before and at the market, and food processing/preservation.
- FDA Approved Acidified Workshop – growers can be expand into retail markets through utilization of a licensed commercial facility and/or having their “scheduled process” meet FDA regulations.
- Training mentors to assist in dissemination of food preservation information and hands-on food preservation workshops.
- Creation of a Farmers Market Resource Guide to be available in both booklet and web-based.
The development of the various components above will assist growers in delivering a safe food and expanding their market within a local food system.
Private and Public Value Statement
Growers and food entrepreneurs are adding value to their produce using safe food handling practices allowing them expand the marketing of their food products. An expanded food market increases the accessibility to a safe and secure food system.