Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
  • Market Development
  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

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  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

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Food Safety

Food SafetyFarm food safety begins with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs): the basic environmental and operational conditions that are necessary for the production of safe fruits and vegetables.

Farmers need to take steps to minimize pathogen contamination during production and harvest of their fresh produce. They should avoid side-dressing with manure, exclude animals near fields, promote proper worker hygiene in the field, test irrigation water quality, select irrigation methods that minimize crop wetting or allows for leaves to dry quickly, clean and sanitize harvest bins, promote cleanliness at U-Pick, and keep produce cool.

As consumers demand safer food, a growing number of retailers are requiring farmers to have independent, 3rd-party inspections of farms, certifying that their fruits and vegetables are being grown, harvested and packaged using Good Agricultural Practices.


Relevant Events

Produce Safety School -- Sanitary Design and Practice Considerations for Your Farm

March 27, 2019
W 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Geneva, NY

Farm Food Safety Training with GAPs

April 10 - April 11, 2019
W 8:30 AM registration, 9:00 AM - 4:30 training; Th 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bath, NY

Most Recent Food Safety Content

Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Conveyor Washing System Checklist

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 18, 2019
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Conveyor Washing System Checklist

As we learn more about reducing microbial risk on the produce farm, more emphasis is being placed on cleaning food contact surfaces. Accessing the hard to reach spaces in wash line equipment is challenging. Most of the equipment was not made to come apart very easily or in an economically efficient manner. The checklist provided here has been developed through hands-on research cleaning equipment as thoroughly as can be measured without doing microbial testing. That level of cleaning is still being researched but, from our work, the level of cleanliness provided here appears to be sufficient.


Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Root Barrel Washer Checklist

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: October 23, 2018
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Root Barrel Washer Checklist

Months of research was conducted on a root barrel washer to determine the best way to clean the equipment given that it was not designed to be easily taken apart and cleaned. Hard-to-reach places were identified through the tracking of vegetable matter and debris dispersed within the barrel washer during use. An acceptable level of cleanliness completed in a reasonable amount of time was identified. The equipment cleanliness was based on visual criteria only; further investigation of the microbial level is still required. To the best of our efforts, areas of critical cleaning are identified in this checklist as well as all other sections necessary to clean.


How to Wash Produce Using a Peracetic Acid (PAA) Solution

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 17, 2018
How to Wash Produce Using a Peracetic Acid (PAA) Solution

This how-to guide will take you through the steps necessary to wash produce in a food safe manner. From calculation of sanitizer rates to washing procedures, many variables can affect the safety of produce on your farm. The guide details the materials you will need, preparation, calculating and mixing the peracetic acid solution, washing produce, and testing turbidity.


More Food Safety Content

Food Safety Plan Template
Set Up an Efficient Wash/Pack Facility
NY Water Testing Labs for Food Safety Use
Cold Storage Chart and Reference Guide to Commercial Vegetable Storage
Crop Cooling and Storage
Material List and Cost Calculator for Building a Wash Table and Aerator
Video: Produce Washing Stations - How to Use a Germicidal Bleach
Cost Calculator: Three Basin Produce Washing
Sanitizer Dose Calculation Spreadsheet
Crop Cooler Storage Planner
Recommendations for Cleaning and Storing Your Harvest Containers and Tools
Video: Farm Food Safety as if Someone's Life Depended On It
Building an Easy Clean Produce Wash Table
Wash Your Greens: A Low-Cost but Effective Washer/Spinner Design
Food Safety Considerations and Design for Packing Sheds
Sample SOPs on Hand Washing and On-Farm Injury
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Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Broccoli

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Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

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Tomatoes

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Upcoming Events

Erie/Niagara Regional Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 26, 2019
Tues 8:30am - 12:30pm
Eden, NY

Production topics include alternaria control in broccoli, precision irrigation tools, tarping, and weed seed bank management.  A special farm-to-school panel will provide grower, distributor, and school buyer insight on how to supply the increasing school demand for local produce. 1.5 DEC credits in categories 1a, 10 and 23 are available
view details

High Tunnel Workshop for Veterans

March 26, 2019
T 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Honeoye Falls, NY

This workshop will help veterans interested in growing in high tunnels or greenhouses learn how to select and manage vegetable crops. Topics include varieties, nutrients, pest management and the 'nuts-and-bolts' of a high tunnel including an onsite tour.
view details

Produce Safety School -- Sanitary Design and Practice Considerations for Your Farm

March 27, 2019
W 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Geneva, NY

This is a full-day program focusing on putting farm food safety into daily production practices. Participants will learn why and how to clean, sanitize, and dry produce. Hygienic designs and applications will be covered in detail. Speakers include Chris Callahan and Andrew Chamberlin from UVM Extension, Elizabeth Bihn and Elizabeth Demmings from the Produce Safety Alliance, and Robert Hadad from the CCE Cornell Vegetable Program.
view details

Announcements

How to Take a Soil Sample

Soil sampling is an important part of managing your crops, but it's important to do it correctly. In this video created by the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program, Vegetable Specialist Amy Ivy demonstrates how to take a soil sample.

For more information or to get soil sampling forms and supplies, visit Agro-One online.

Cornell Commercial Vegetable Guidelines Available

The 2019 Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production are now available!

Written by Cornell University specialists, this publication is designed to offer producers, seed and chemical dealers, and crop consultants practical information on growing and managing vegetable crops in New York State. Topics include general culture, nutrient management, transplant production, postharvest handling, organic production, and managing common vegetable crop pest concerns. A preview of the Vegetable Guidelines can be seen online.

Highlighted changes in the 2019 Vegetable Guidelines include:
  • Updated pesticide options for economically important vegetable crop pests.
  • New pests: beet armyworm in beets; cabbage looper and tarnished plant bug in lettuce and endive; allium leafminer in onions; and Cladosporium, Cercospora, and Stemphylium leaf spots in spinach.
Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy ($41), online-only access ($41), or a package combining print and online access ($57.50). Shipping charges will be added to your order. Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through many local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, or from The Cornell Store at Cornell University or call (844) 688-7620.

Empire State Producers EXPO Proceedings

Proceedings from the Empire State Producers EXPO conference from 2011-2019 are available online.

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