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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU offers free food safety workshops for gardens and small farms

Recent headlines about deadly salmonella contamination in cucumbers highlight the growing national concern about food safety, and organic producers are among those who will be affected by new legislation aimed at making our food supply safer.


A pair of free workshops at New Mexico State University next week will explore food safety issues and procedures from the farm to the table as part of NMSU?s Organic Transition Project.

Mark Uchanski, an associate professor of horticulture and vegetable physiology in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, said the workshops will help food producers get familiar with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act, which will soon be implemented.

?Food safety recalls have been making the news more and more in recent years,? Uchanski said. ?It?s important that our students and local agricultural producers are aware of this legislation and how it might affect them.?

Bernalillo County Extension agent John Garlisch will present on ?Writing the Food Safety Plan? from 10:20 to 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29. Following a break for lunch, Cooperative Extension Service food technology specialist Nancy Flores and New Mexico Department of Agriculture organic commodity adviser Joanie Quinn will lead a mock food safety audit of the certified organic NMSU student gardens from 1 to 4 p.m.

In a second workshop from 10:20 to 11:35 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, Flores will talk about food safety systems for small farm operations.

Both morning workshops will take place in room 142 of Knox Hall on the NMSU Las Cruces campus.

?The more knowledgeable we are about all aspects of food safety,? Uchanski said, ?the better off we?ll be.?

For more information on the free workshops, contact Grace Navarro at 575-646-3215.