Blog posts by food safety

Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, April 11, 2016 on events, food safety

The event is sponsored by: Today is the last day to register for the Food Safety Workshop in Ojai–register now! With the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations rolling out and retailers increasingly demanding food safety plans, now is the time to focus on updating or creating a food safety plan that is in alignment with organic regulations. Join CCOF’s workshop in Ojai this Friday to learn more and get your questions answered. The Field-Level Introduction to Food Safety Workshop is aimed at helping producers better understand the components of field-level food safety plans....
Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, March 21, 2016 on education, events, food safety

Reserve your spot today for this two-day organic food safety training! This course is designed for organic growers and produce handlers who are new to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards, staff members who need training in food safety, and organic professionals who need to update and improve their food safety program and/or documentation. The two-day workshop will prepare you for the new GFSI-benchmarked food safety certification offered by CCOF. The training will utilize the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standards and the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS)...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 8, 2016 on advocacy, food safety, policy

Wild Farm Alliance recently announced the release of the publication Co-Managing Farm Stewardship with Food Safety GAPs and Conservation Practices: A Grower's and Conservationist’s Handbook. The publication provides a resource for organic produce growers taking steps to address food safety on their farms, while continuing to conserve biodiversity and natural resources. FDA Food Safety Regulations Encourage On-Farm Conservation In November 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final Produce Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In the preamble of that FSMA...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 23, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

On Friday, November 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published the final Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Produce Safety Rule establishes food safety standards for produce farms in the United States. Will the Produce Safety Rule impact my operation? The Produce Safety Rule includes requirements that address water quality, employee health and hygiene, wild and domesticated animals, manure and compost application, equipment, and buildings. For a run-down on the Produce Safety Rule and organic operations, see the Organic Trade Association’s response...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, October 5, 2015 on food safety

Are you an organic processor who is looking for food safety certification for your products? Are your buyers requiring a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked food safety certification, or requesting third party audit reports prior to approving a sale? CCOF can help. In addition to CCOF’s food safety services for growers, we are now pleased to give our processor members access to a variety of food safety certifications at a discounted rate through an arrangement with the Food Quality Alliance (FQA). These certifications include: British Retail Consortium (BRC) – GFSI-benchmarked...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 31, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

Over the next few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will publish the final food safety requirements for produce farms and food processing facilities under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Many produce farmers and food processors that make food for people to eat will need to comply with the new food safety requirements.How did we get here? In 2011, President Obama signed FSMA in to law. FSMA represented the first overhaul to food safety practices in the United States since 1938.FSMA directed FDA to engage in public rulemaking to establish new food safety standards. In...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 24, 2015 on food safety, policy, research

A new study out of the University of California, Berkeley shows that removing vegetation adjacent to farms on California’s Central Coast has not reduced the incidence of E. coli found in fresh produce. Instead, the reverse is true: farms that retained nongrazed riparian or other natural vegetation types had significantly lower prevalence of generic E. coli in water and pathogenic E. coli in produce.These results contradict the conventional wisdom that developed in 2006 when spinach contaminated with pathogenic E. coli entered the stream of commerce and caused three deaths and 205 illnesses....
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 24, 2015 on food safety

CCOF has joined the Food Quality Alliance (FQA) as its designated provider of organic certification services. The Food Quality Alliance is a consortium of industry-leading providers of food certification, testing, consulting, and educational services, and our participation in the group comes with a host of benefits for our members.Most notably, in addition to CCOF’s food safety services for growers, we are now pleased to give our processor members access to a variety of food safety certifications at a discounted rate through this arrangement with FQA. These certifications include:British...
Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, August 3, 2015 on food safety

Now is a great time to start thinking about your food safety plan! These two-day workshops will utilize the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standards and the Produce Safety Standard (PSS) for North American suppliers, i.e., the Harmonized Standards. Through lecture, individualized instruction, sample documents, and small group activities, you will learn about the key elements in a food safety plan, how to create the documents necessary for a food safety plan, and how to successfully host a food safety audit. Join us at one of three trainings this year:Bakersfield, CA – September 9-10 2015Stockton, CA –...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 8, 2014 on food safety, policy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments on its recently updated food safety rules now through December 15. To comment, CCOF highly recommends that you use the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) comment template and instructions. The updated rules include significant changes, such as: revised water testing standards, deferred manure treatment standards, and  a more collaborative approach to regulating parts of mixed-type facilities — e.g. operations that grow, pack, and/or process on the farm. FDA issued the updated rules after receiving...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, October 6, 2014 on events, food safety, get certification help, NOSB

October is full of events to help you grow your business. CCOF hopes you can attend and looks forward to meeting with you while we are on the road. The Western Organic Dairy Producers Association (WODPA) will be hosting the 2014 WODPA Conference in Rohnert Park, CA from October 14-15. CCOF will have a table at this year’s event, so come see us! GLOBALG.A.P. is offering a Crops Workshop and exam re-takes October 15-16 in conjunction with the PMA Fresh Summit 2014 in Anaheim, CA. If you are planning on attending PMA 2014, make sure you look into this workshop, as it provides an excellent...
Written by Robin Boyle on Friday, September 19, 2014 on food safety, policy

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued updates to four proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA is accepting comments on the updates now through December. The updated rules include significant changes, such as: revised water testing standards, deferred manure treatment standards, and a more collaborative approach to regulating parts of mixed-type facilities — e.g. operations that grow, pack, and/or process on the farm. FDA issued the updated rules after receiving extensive public comments and information on the originally proposed rules, which...
Written by Jake Lewin on Friday, January 3, 2014 on certification process, food safety, materials and inputs, MyCCOF, services

Our efforts to reduce paperwork, simplify certification, and provide benefits to our members continue in 2014! We are pleased to present three important new tools built to meet your needs: our new online Materials Search, expansion of MyCCOF: Supplier Management, and field-level food safety certification. MyCCOF: Materials Search – Viva La Revolution! The CCOF materials revolution continues in January 2014 with a bold new offering free for all CCOF certified members. After changing how materials are managed and providing better, faster reviews, we have taken the next step. All CCOF internally...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Thursday, August 8, 2013 on advocacy, food safety, policy

For those of you who haven’t yet had the chance to comment on the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that is currently being developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you now have a little more time! Today, the FDA extended the public comment period from September 16 to a final deadline of November 15. The Food Safety Modernization Act is legislation passed in early 2011 in response to various food safety scares. It will affect both farming and processing operations in a variety of ways. For a detailed analysis of how the FSMA may apply to your business, please check out the...
Written by Brise Tencer on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 on advocacy, food safety, grower, handler, standards

Update 04/30/13: The FDA has extended the comment period on the proposed food safety regulations until September 16.  This change was made as a result of numerous requests for more time to review the proposals, which are complex.  The additional time offers CCOF members an opportunity to provide more feedback about the proposals, areas for concerns, or suggested changes. We encourage you to continue sending us your feedback to policy@ccof.org. Original Post 03/13/13: I wanted to take this opportunity to update CCOF members on the FDA proposed rules for implementation of the Food Safety...

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