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Food Safety Training Opportunities

United Fresh is pleased to offer the following Food Safety Training Programs & Opportunities
for the fresh produce industry

Harmonized Training Information & Resources

Members of the Calibration Committee for the Harmonized are authorized to provide training for the Harmonized Standard. The trainings listed below cover the Harmonized Standard, at a minimum, but may also include additional elements (e.g., related to the specific audit process, GFSI requirements, etc.). Please see further information below on available Harmonized Training.

Available Harmonized Standard Training

QCS and GLOBALG.A.P. North America Inc. will be holding a HPSS workshop in Gainsville, FL on October 24-26 2018.
For more information on this workshop, click here.

Harmonized Standard Webinars

Webinar – The Harmonized Standard: Myths, Legends and it’s Growing Role in the Marketplace
Thursday, August 9 at 2:00 pm ET (11:00 am PT)
Webinar Recording Playback on United Fresh YouTube page 
Download the Webinar Slides

Webinar Description: Nearly a decade ago, the entire produce supply chain convened with a common vision: identify the core elements required to grow and pack fresh produce and develop a standard that harmonizes existing audit requirements. Over the years buyer acceptance varied, often due to myths and legends around the standard and the process. This webinar will clarify how the Harmonized is structured, including the role of United Fresh and audit organizations, the relationship with GFSI, and the recent FDA acknowledgement of alignment with the Produce Safety Rule. Learn about the updated version of the standard, current training initiatives, United’s renewed commitment to the initiative, and how you can be involved in shaping the future of the Harmonized. This 1-hr webinar is targeted toward producers looking to evaluate if the Harmonized is a good fit for their operation, and buyers trying to ascertain if they should accept Harmonized Certificates.

Webinar – Harmonized Standard Refresher Training
Friday, August 10 at 2:00 pm ET (11:00 am PT)
Webinar Recording Playback on United Fresh YouTube page

Webinar Description: As part of the licensing agreement that United Fresh, as Secretariat for the Harmonized, issues to audit organizations, auditors must be trained on the Harmonized using materials developed by the Calibration Committee. In late 2016, the standard was updated, in part to align with new FDA regulations. This webinar will review the key changes and bring existing auditors up to speed on how to evaluate the new components of the audit. This 1-hr webinar is targeted primarily to auditors who have already been trained to the Harmonized Standard. This webinar will NOT review all requirements and is not a substitution for auditor training, but is intended to supplement trainings conducted more than 1 year ago (prior to the updates). This webinar will also be beneficial for producers seeking to understand what has changed and how they can maintain compliance with the Harmonized.

View GAP Harmonization Initiative Resources

Listeria Workshops

To receive updates on when new courses are announced, complete this form.  

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Joint Listeria Workshops. Please download our sponsorship package information here.

If you have any questions about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dr. Jennifer McEntire.

United Fresh & PMA Joint Listeria Workshop

Food Safety Webinars

Upcoming Food Safety Webinars

 Traceability: Is the Continued Criticism Warranted?
Thursday, September 20 at 2:00 pm ET (11:00 am PT)
Sponsored by Ecolab

More than a decade ago, the inability to quickly address produce-related outbreaks was blamed on traceability. Despite the launch of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), the accessibility of technology, and advances such as Blockchain, regulators, consumer groups, and the media still pointed an accusatory finger at industry traceability during recent outbreaks. Why? Understand the improvements that have been made, the challenges that persist, and how the entirety of the supply chain is coming together to tackle this issue. This webinar will review the difference between an outbreak investigation and a recall, what traceability can and can’t do, the current status of FSMA and other traceability regulations, and why regulations are not the solution.

All supply chain members should join this webinar, particularly those who are NOT currently subject to one up/one down FDA recordkeeping requirements.

Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Vice President Food Safety &Technology,  United Fresh
Ed Treacy, Vice President, Supply Chain Efficiency, PMA

Managing Lm in a Tree Fruit Packing Operation
Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm ET (12:00 PT)
Sponsored by Washington State Tree Fruit Association 

How can tree fruit packing operations work with their current resources and capabilities to minimize the risk of cross-contamination of their fruit by Listeria monocytogenes? This webinar is part of a 2-part series, and will focus on practices and processes including sanitation, sanitary design, zoning, and employee hygiene can decrease- or increase-risk.

Environmental Monitoring To Verify Control of Listeria in a Tree Fruit Packing Operation
Friday, September 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm ET (12:00 PT)
Sponsored by Washington State Tree Fruit Association 

Once tree fruit packing operations feel that they’ve got “the basics” of Listeria management under control in their operation, this second webinar in a 2-part series will explain how to verify that those practices and procedures are working. The webinar will explain how to interpret the results of tests commonly used in the industry, such as ATP, coliforms, E. coli, and Listeria. It will also delve into controversial issues such as testing zone 1 product contact surfaces, and testing post sanitation versus during production. The webinar will also focus on corrective actions and how to respond to a positive in a way that addresses the root cause of the issue.

Tomato Guidelines Update: Wash Water & More
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm ET (11:00 am PT)
Sponsored by Ecolab

Learn the key updates to the 3rd version of the Commodity Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain, referred to as the Tomato Guidelines, on this webinar. The guidelines apply to each part of the fresh tomato supply chain: outdoor and greenhouse growing, harvesting, field packing, packinghouse operations, repacking, fresh-cut operations through to retail and foodservice. Updated recommendations highlighted on the webinar include aspects of field packing, re-use of cartons, and antimicrobial use and wash water monitoring. Given the evolving research on the quality of water used to wash tomatoes, the second half of the webinar will provide detail on the wash water recommendations in the guidelines and discuss research currently underway.

Webinar Speakers include:

  • Jennifer McEntire, Ph.D., United Fresh Produce Association
  • Dr. Sunny Luo, USDA-ARS
  • Suresh DeCosta, Lipman
  • Shannon Cotta, DiMare

All upcoming United Fresh Webinar Series information can be accessed here.

Past Food Safety Webinars

Déjà vu of Leafy Green Outbreaks: What We Know Today (Recorded 8/23/18)
Many have likened the recent Romaine-associated outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 with the spinach related outbreak of 2006. While safety programs and practices have continued to advance, several questions asked during the most recent outbreak were reminiscent of those a dozen years ago: how does CDC know it’s romaine? Why does it take so long for the agencies to get information out? This webinar will cover the fundamentals of the outbreak investigation process and relate them to the recent outbreaks. The investigative challenges will reinforce why most outbreaks have gone unsolved, and were largely unknown. Anyone interested in outbreak investigations will benefit from this webinar. View a recording of the webinar.

Block Chain Webinar (Recorded 4/30/18)
Feeling left out because everyone’s talking about blockchain and you’re still not clear on what it means to you? Join two experts for a casual conversation focused on answering your questions. Thomas Burke, Food Traceability Scientist with the Global Food Traceability Center and Raja Ramachandran, CEO of will each spend a few minutes giving an overview of blockchain before turning it over to you for a lengthy Q&A. View a recording of the webinar.

FSMA Farm vs. Facility Update (Recorded 1/24/18)
Hear the latest information on the FSMA Farm vs. Facility issue and recent updates from FDA from Dr. Jennifer McEntire. This program is hosted by the Food Safety & Technology Council. View a recording of the webinar.

FSMA Ag Water Webinar (Recorded 10/10/17)
Now that FDA has made several announcements related to the Ag water testing provision, including delaying implementation of that part of the rule and identifying several test methods that are “scientifically valid” and “at least equivalent to the method of analysis in § 112.151a,  join Dr. Jennifer McEntire, United Fresh VP of Food Safety and Technology for an insiders perspective. Dr. McEntire discussed FDA’s ag water extension timeline, the new and equivalent test methods and what this means for your operations. View a recording of the webinar.