The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), along with the University of Georgia and New Mexico State University, has developed an online-animated tool with three learning modules to help educators and farm managers reinforce fundamental cleaning and sanitizing concepts.
Cleaning and sanitizing minimize potential contamination from pathogenic microorganisms on surfaces such as tools and equipment, thereby reducing cross-contamination and the chance of spreading foodborne illnesses. Proper sanitization is a requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
Farms covered by the Act must inspect, maintain, clean, and – when necessary appropriate – sanitize all food contact surfaces, to protect against the contamination of covered produce.
WSDA looks for feedback
WSDA is looking for feedback from anyone implementing or educating on produce safety practices, including farmers, packers and distributors, extension educators, government and non-profit employees, and any other agricultural professionals. The survey can be found here.
The tool emphasizes how to select a sanitizer and monitor its concentration using test strips and titration kits. It simulates how to follow proper monitoring procedures, evaluate results, and record findings.
The modules are interactive and require users to apply critical thinking and realistic decision-making. All content is available in English and Spanish.
To learn more or access the tool, click here.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here)