We attended a GAP food safety class on May 17, 2013 at the Penn State Food Science Building in State College, Pennsylvania. We learned about potential food safety hazards, how they can occur on the farm and how to take preventative steps to control harmful microbes during this 5 hour classroom workshop. As part of our food safety curriculum, we have also received a ServSafe® certificate — nationally accredited food safety certification from the National Restaurant Association — to provide safe food to consumers.
Workshop Summary: The safest (and best) food is local food that is grown locally and sold locally direct to consumers. Most contaminated food is non-local food, commercially-grown in some far away place that enters into a vast and complex food distribution system and sold to the consumers via large supermarkets and big restaurant chains. Local farmers are more connected to their produce and community, so they are more likely to prevent problems from occurring on their farms.
Or put another way, the bean truck driver doesn’t care as much about your beans as we do. A better way to buy food is to support farmer markets that offer produce that is grown and sold locally. Be sure to ask the grower how the produce is grown and get to “know your local farmers” and your food source. We’re sure your time spent with the local farmer will be far easier and more interesting than getting acquainted with the bean truck driver. Besides, have you ever heard anyone say “know your bean truck driver”? We think not.