Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

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

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  • VegEdge Newsletter
  • 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

2019 Empire State Producers EXPO

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 15 - January 17, 2019
1.25 hr sessions throughout each day
Syracuse, NY

Most Recent Food Safety Content

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.


Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Conveyor Washing System

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: October 11, 2018
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Conveyor Washing System

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.


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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Upcoming Events

Finger Lakes Produce Auction Educational Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 3, 2019
8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Penn Yan, NY

This meeting is our annual winter educational event for Finger Lakes Produce Auction growers. This year we focus on disease management in cole crops, strawberries, food safety and greenhouse flowers. 2.0 recertification credits in private vegetable category.
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Ontario Produce Auction Winter Growers Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 9, 2019
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Stanley, NY

This meeting is our annual winter educational event for Ontario Produce Auction growers. This year we focus on disease management in high tunnel tomatoes, vine crops and greenhouse flowers. Grower and buyer panels will be presented as well irrigation and plastic mulch. DEC pesticide applicator recertification credits have been requested.
view details

2019 Empire State Producers EXPO

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 15 - January 17, 2019
1.25 hr sessions throughout each day
Syracuse, NY

The 2019 Empire State Producers Expo combines the major fruit, flower and vegetable associations of New York State in order to provide a comprehensive trade show and educational conference for New York producers, as well as the surrounding states and Eastern Canada. 
view details
view calendar of events

Announcements

Checklist for Cleaning a Root Barrel Washer

Don't miss those hard-to-reach places in your root barrel washer! Here is a checklist of areas to remember to clean to obtain an acceptable level of cleanliness completed in a reasonable about of time. Critical cleaning points are identified. 

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