Posted: March 30, 2023

Researchers develop food-safety training program.

A team of researchers in the college developed and pilot-tested a customized food safety training program for farmers market vendors, responding to a need revealed in prior research on the topic.

The training caps several years of research and addresses a problem in Pennsylvania and other states related to inadequate food safety practices among farmers market vendors, noted team leader Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and Penn State Extension assistant director for food safety and quality programs.

Cutter said the training and research, published in the Journal of Extension, are especially relevant because the farmers market movement is thriving, with the direct-to-consumer sale of locally grown agricultural products gaining in popularity. Yet, many in public health have begun to realize the inherent food safety risks associated with this relatively under-regulated food industry.

The Farmers Market Food Safety training program includes a PowerPoint presentation and a resource guide. Penn State Extension educators with experience in retail food safety designed the PowerPoint slide collection and associated training activities.

--Jeff Mulhollem