Fresh produce growers and buyers will learn appropriate agricultural practices to prevent food-borne illnesses as part of a two-day workshop in Casper.
“Good Agricultural Practices” is Thursday and Friday, April 9-10, at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel as part of the Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association’s annual conference.
“This workshop will benefit producers as well as those who buy and use local produce in inspected kitchens like schools, hospitals and restaurants,” said Cole Ehmke, University of Wyoming Extension specialist, who helped organize the sessions.
Recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses involving fresh and processed food products heightened public concern about food safety, he said. Illness-causing pathogens, such as salmonella and listeria, come from a variety of sources. The most common source is fecal matter, Ehmke said, which can be spread by water, wildlife, waste and workers.
Producers will stay competitive in the specialty produce business by becoming food safety compliant.
“Many fresh produce retailers now require their suppliers to have third-party audits to verify safe food production and handling practices on the farm,” he said.