An agent Training Program in Safe Food Handling - Legal Liability

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $77,344.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries (other), berries (blueberries), berries (brambles), cherries, berries (cranberries), figs, citrus, grapes, melons, olives, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, quinces, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Crop Production: fertigation, irrigation, municipal wastes, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: extension, focus group, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: risk management
  • Production Systems: holistic management, organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    This project is forming the creation and centralization of a comprehensive curriculum and resources to train and support a network of North Carolina Extension Agents and other agricultural professionals in the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). Working knowledge of these practices along with liability issues associated with markets can assist farmers and farmers' market managers in reducing the potential for microbial contamination and can protect farm incomes. Impacts from these trainings will show both knowledge and behavioral changes as indicated by evaluations, pre-post tests, implementation of food safety plans, and finally GAPs certification by farmers.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objectives of this grant are to:
    a) create food safety trainers in each of the state's 101 Cooperative Extension offices;

    b) promote knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) and Best Management Practices (BMPs) on small farms that sell raw produce directly to consumers;

    c) develop an understanding of the liabilities associated with the failure to implement GAPS and BMPs;

    (d) understand the risk management tools available to reduce liability; and

    (e) provide food safety planning and training resources to producers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.