Food safety training offered to potential on-farm food entrepreneurs

January 14, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Dr. Sue Snider, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, will provide food safety training for potential on-farm food entrepreneurs during a two-session, eight hour training that will be held at the Delaware Department of Agriculture on the following dates:

February 11, 2010 February 18, 2010
6:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. 6:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.

Participants must complete eight hours of training and pass a written test on the materials presented in order to receive a certificate.

As a result of training in food safety, participants will be able to: Identify potentially and non-potentially hazardous foods, Appreciate foodborne pathogens and understand ways to control them, Apply the basic principles to reduce the risk of foodborne illness Evaluate your plan for controlling potential microbial problems in your operation, and Understand requirements of the new regulations for farm produced food items.

In January 2006, Delaware’s new regulations governing “On-Farm Home Processing of Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods” were adopted. Farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at farmers’ markets, on-farm markets, or roadside stands must abide by these regulations.

These regulations established standards of practice for on-farm home food processing operations that safeguard public health and provide consumers with food that is safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented.

The regulations provide definitions, define operator qualifications, and establish operation food safety and physical facility requirements. Non-potentially hazardous foods include: Baked breads, cakes, muffins, or cookies with a water activity of .85 or less; Candy (non-chocolate); Containerized fruit preparations consisting of jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, and fruit butters with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less or a water activity of 0.85 or less; Fruit pies with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less; Herbs in vinegar with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less; Honey and herb mixtures; Dried fruit and vegetables; Spices or herbs Maple syrup and sorghum Snack items such as popcorn, caramel corn, and peanut brittle Roasted nuts.

Under the regulations, potential on-farm food entrepreneurs will be required to have eight hours of food safety training and have their farm kitchens inspected.

Copies of these regulations and applications are available on the Delaware Department of Agriculture website.

On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment.

For more information, to register for the training, or to receive a copy of the regulations, please call or e-mail Sheree Nichols at the Delaware Department of Agriculture: Phone: (800) 282-8685 (DE only) or (302) 698-4521


Jan. 18-23: Gov. Markell declares Ag Week in Delaware

January 14, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Gov. Jack Markell has declared the week of January 18-23 to be Delaware Agriculture Week and urges all residents of the state to celebrate and understand Delaware’s modern agricultural industry and to thank the hard working men and women of Delaware agriculture.

The fifth annual Ag Week is sponsored by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

The sponsors and many partners will give the agricultural community an excellent opportunity to come together to share knowledge on a host of topics crucial to sustaining Delaware’s vital agricultural industry. A weeklong series of workshops and sessions will be held primarily at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.

For general information, program details, and session and presentation locations, check the Ag Week Web site or contact Emmalea Ernest at (302) 856-7303 or [].

Ed Kee, Delaware secretary of agriculture, said, “I am really pleased to see Ag Week become a tradition in Delaware. Agriculture brings more than $1 billion to Delaware’s coffers. This is because our producers and our industry constantly search for and implement ways to improve their methods, to be better stewards of our natural resources, and to provide top quality produce, poultry, meats, and other agricultural products.”

Kee continued, “The continued growth in participation since the first Ag Week in 2006 is a testament to the agricultural community’s commitment to excellence. Last year we had more than 1500 participants.”

Presenters will include local farmers; commodity boards, associations and councils; the agricultural industry; agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); state agencies; local and regional universities from Delaware, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia; NASA; and the Delaware Geological Survey.