Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

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

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  • Direct Mailings
  • 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 Event

Farm Food Safety 2-Day Training with GAPs

December 3 - December 4, 2019
Tues-Weds, 8:30am - 4:30pm
East Aurora, NY

Most Recent Food Safety Content

Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Brush Washer Conveyor System Checklist

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: November 11, 2019
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Brush Washer Conveyor 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: November 11, 2019
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.


Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: SOPs for Cleaning Other Wash Line Equipment

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 10, 2019
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: SOPs for Cleaning Other Wash Line Equipment

In the wash/pack shed, a variety of large and small equipment can be found. All need cleaning. Here is a group of cleaning SOPs for growers to use as examples for writing their own to meet their specific needs. We also provide instructions for preparing sanitizer solution for a pump sprayer used to clean produce washing equipment.



More Food Safety Content

How to Wash Produce Using a Peracetic Acid (PAA) Solution
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
» View Complete List of Food Safety Content
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Upcoming Events

CANCELED: Women in Agriculture (WAVES) Discussion Group: Auxiliary Farm Income

November 11, 2019
M 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Warsaw, NY

Due to the inclement weather, we have had to cancel tonight's discussion group meeting.  Stay warm out there!  CVP will repost the event if we are able to reschedule for a different date - check back soon!


The final Women in Agriculture (WAVES) meeting, focused on auxiliary farm income, will be held Monday, November 11, 2019 at Burley's Berries and Blooms in Warsaw.

Our host, Megan Burley, runs a creative and diversified farm that uses the existing farm infrastructure and landscape assets to augment her business's primary strawberry and cut flower income. Megan will teach participants how to use farm products to craft unique, value added fall and winter wreaths to extend your marketing season and supplement your farm product offerings. Megan can also discuss how social media helps promote her auxiliary farm products to a broader audience.

Additionally, we will be discussing Christmas Tree Production as an alternative use of farmland. Katherine Humphrey of All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm in Springwater, NY will be present to discuss Christmas tree/tree production.  
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Farm Food Safety 2-Day Training with GAPs

December 3 - December 4, 2019
Tues-Weds, 8:30am - 4:30pm
East Aurora, NY

This training is geared for fresh produce farms looking to learn and implement food safety practices into their operations. If you are looking to find new markets, many buyers are requiring food safety training. Under the GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) program this training will help prepare you for implementing food safety practices and move you forward for audit/certification through NY State Dept of Agriculture. If you are looking to sell to farm to school programs, many school districts require a training course.
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2019 Processing Vegetable Crops Advisory Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

December 17, 2019
9:30am - 12:10pm, 1pm - 2pm, and 2pm - 3:30pm
Batavia, NY

All are invited to attend and discuss the 2019 season for each crop, meet the new Cornell Weed Scientist and discuss weed management concerns, and receive updates on research conducted during 2019. Separate DEC and CCA credits will be available for each of the 3 crop meetings. The meeting is free of charge and there is no registration required.
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Announcements

Tarping for Reduced Tillage Workshop

Are you a vegetable farmer already using tarps? Or are you wondering if and how tarps could work best on your farm?

The Cornell Small Farms Program is offering a series of workshops on tarping for reduced tillage in Maine and New York this fall. Join a full-day intensive, farmer-to-farmer workshop to talk about how to use tarps for reduced and no-till vegetable production. They'll discuss tillage, weeds, and how to combine tarps with soil building practices -- like compost, mulches, and cover crops. You will learn from farmers as they share their successes and failures and hear research results from five years of tarping trials testing no-till practices side-by-side with conventional management. Join them to share your own methods and walk away with a plan to use tarps with less tillage on your farm. Read more about this event.

In WNY, the workshop will be held
Monday, November 18 at CCE Ontario County, 480 N Main St, Canandaigua, NY 14424 from 9:00am-4:00pm. Cost: $35 per person includes lunch and refreshments. Space is limited. Register now

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