Pilot program focuses on food safety in cantaloupes

Date posted: March 6, 2013

Cantaloupes at a packing plantJustin Moore photoN.C. Cooperative Extension and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have launched a pilot fresh produce safety program for cantaloupe producers and packers.

Fresh produce safety is the focus of a pilot cantaloupe program being offered by North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The two-pronged education and outreach program will consist of a seminar in the classroom and voluntary assessment on the farm. The goal is to help cantaloupe producers and packers develop strategies for reducing the risk of food contamination and for handling such incidents if they occur.

Free seminars take place April 10 at the Cunningham/Lower Coastal Plain Research Station in Kinston and April 23 at the Davidson County Center in Lexington. Both sessions will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The seminars will include lunch and refreshments, sponsored by N.C. Farm Bureau and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, respectively. Registration is required by April 3. Register online at www.ncmhtd.com/NCCantaloupe.

The program will cover a variety of food safety topics specifically for cantaloupe producers, including sanitation, water, equipment, environmental sampling and validation, as well as recovery and restoration strategies after a food contamination event.

The on-farm outreach portion is voluntary and will provide an assessment of the farming operation to help identify potential concerns with regard to future federal food safety rules and regulations.

Cooperative Extension is an educational partnership of N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University, county governments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information about the cantaloupe program, contact Kristen Baughman at 919-733-7366 or kristen.baughman@ncagr.gov.

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1 Comment to Pilot program focuses on food safety in cantaloupes

  1. by Aryan Mahata

    On March 11, 2013 at 4:47 am

    The program, consisting of a classroom seminar and a voluntary assessment on the farm, is being led by North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, according to a news release.

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