University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Practical Produce Safety

Maximizing Quality, Profitability and Safety


What is Practical Produce Safety?

Practical Produce Safety (PPS) is a cost-effective strategy for growers to implement food safety practices that minimize risk while maximizing produce quality and farm profitability.

PPS was developed in 2010 with three Vermont produce farmers. They were concerned that looming produce safety regulations and practices were designed for large farms, and would be onerous and costly for small diversified farms to implement. None of these farmers were required to have third-party food safety audits such as USDA GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices), they simply wanted to learn about produce safety practices, write a produce safety plan, and implement effective practices on their farms.

PPS was created to help farmers implement produce safety practices in a way that fits their scale and available resources. PPS allows farmers to evaluate their farming practices through the lens of self-audit, closely based on the USDA GAPs checklist, write a produce safety plan, and then implement practices that provide cost-effective risk reduction.

The contents of this manual, beginning with the introductory "What Is Practical Produce Safety?" pages listed first, were carefully developed with a team of farmers and researchers to provide produce growers with the tools they need to get started with (or refine) their own on-farm safety practices.

  1. Cover & Credits
  2. What is Practical Produce Safety?
  3. Practical Produce Safety Plan Template
  4. Sample Employee Manual

Practical Produce Safety How-to's:

  1. When to Wash Your Hands (poster)
  2. How to Wash Your Hands (poster)
  3. Land History
  4. Soil Fertility: Using Manure & Compost with Food Safety in Mind
  5. Irrigation with Produce Safety in Mind
  6. Field Contamination
  7. Harvesting Produce
  8. Rinsing & Packing Produce with Produce Safety in Mind
  9. Storing Produce with Food Safety and Quality in Mind
  10. Using Sanitizers Safely
  11. Farm Worker Health, Safety and First Aid
  12. Farm Worker Hygiene
  13. Traceability
  14. Animal-Human Contact
  15. On-Farm Cleaning
  16. Water Quality Testing
  17. How to Take Water Samples for Irrigation Water
  18. Building an Unenclosed Packshed
  19. Renovating Old Barns
  20. Produce Safety Checklist for Selling or Buying Local Produce
  21. Practical Produce Safety Workshop Powerpoint (2013)

Other Helpful Resources for Your Practical Produce Safety Plan

  1. Practical Food Safety Webinar with Cedar Circle Farm
  2. Cedar Circle Farm Safety Manual: An excellent example of an on-farm food safety plan for a diversified farm

Last modified December 15 2016 03:41 PM