Community Accreditation for Produce Safety Program Receives Grant

A tub full of water with just picked beets with leaves and stems getting washed.

Extension Professor Vern Grubinger and Extension Produce Safety Accreditation Program Coordinator Hans Estrin have been awarded $305,630 from the USDA’s Food Safety Outreach Program, for a three-year project that builds on the multi-state food safety education and outreach program called Community Accreditation for Produce Safety, or CAPS.

In 2015, the first year of CAPS, 22 farms participated. In 2022, a total of 172 farms used the CAPS online platform to write or edit their produce safety plans. These farms are primarily in Vermont, with participants in New Hampshire, New York, and Quebec.

CAPS helps small and mid-size farms adopt practices consistent with the Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This project will focus on farms that have limited financial and management resources. It will develop educational materials, deliver in-person and online trainings, and provide individual technical assistance to support the adoption of low-cost, scale-appropriate produce safety and employee management practices.

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