Today’s Topic: N.C. Cantaloupe Pilot Program

By on March 12, 2013

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoThis week, the Commissioner and Rhonda discuss a project to help North Carolina cantaloupe producers develop strategies for reducing the risk of food contamination. A partnership between the NCDA&CS and N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, the education and outreach program will consist of a seminar in the classroom and a voluntary assessment on the farm.

Producers have two opportunities to attend a seminar: April 10 at the Cunningham-Lower Coastal Plain Research Station in Kinston and April 23 at the Davidson County Extension Center in Lexington. Both sessions will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The seminar is free and includes lunch and refreshments, sponsored by N.C. Farm Bureau and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Registration is required by April 3. Register online by clicking here.

The seminar will cover a variety of food safety topics specifically for cantaloupe producers, including sanitation, water, equipment, environmental sampling and validation. The program will also cover recovery and restoration strategies after a food contamination event.

The on-farm outreach portion, which is voluntary, will provide an assessment of the farming operation to help identify potential concerns with regard to the food safety rules and regulations the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed. The N.C. cantaloupe pilot program’s voluntary assessment serves as a means to help reduce potential contamination.

For more information, contact Kristen Baughman at 919-733-7366.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss this pilot program and why cantaloupe growers should take advantage of it.

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