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Food Safety

The Fresh Produce Industry has increasing pressure to prove measures have been taken to minimize risks of microbial contamination.


Most Recent Food Safety Content

Listeria - Why is it Not Going Away? - Part II

Craig Kahlke, Team Leader, Fruit Quality Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: June 19, 2017

Follow up to Part I article. The original part II article appeared in Issue 3 of the Fruit Notes newsletter, March 22, 2017.

Listeria - Why is it Not Going Away? - Part I

Craig Kahlke, Team Leader, Fruit Quality Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: February 15, 2017

This is Part I of an important article on Listeria monocytogenes contamination on fresh produce. Included are descriptions of the deadly Jensen Farms outbreak on cantaloupe from Colorado in 2011 along with the Bidart Brothers (California) outbreak on fresh and caramelized apples in 2014 that also hospitalized and killed several people.

Some of the biology and the persistence of this deadly pathogen is discussed, as well as detection methods and possible places that can harbor Listeria and allow it to grow. How to reduce risk of Listeria contamination in the packinghouse is introduced.


Part II of the article is in the Second Issue of the Fruit Notes, Volume 17, Issue 2.

Microbial Water Quality Profile Calculator for Surface Water (FSMA requirments)

Craig Kahlke, Team Leader, Fruit Quality Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: May 17, 2016

One of the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act is water testing for surface and ground water.  Those growers using surface or ground water in production (pre-harvest) for crop protectant sprays or irrigation need to develop a Microbial Water Quality Profile (MWQP).  This requires 20 water tests per surface source in the 2-4 years PRIOR to compliance dates.  Large business (>$500K annual fresh produce sales over 3 years) need to be in compliance for the water requirement by January of 2020. The tests need to be quantified generic E.coli. The easiest way to develop your MWQP is to perform 5 tests each growing season from 2016-2019.  Alternatively, you could do 6-7 tests per year from 2017-2019, or 10 tests/yr in 2018 and 2019.  See the Excel spreadsheet below for the Western Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis's MWQP die-off calculator.  Instructions are in the firs tab.

 


More Food Safety Content

Food Safety Resources
Presentations - 2015 Winter Tree Fruit Schools
more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Blueberries

Blueberries

Cherries

Cherries

Currants

Currants

Gooseberries

Gooseberries

Nectarines

Nectarines

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Plums

Plums

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Strawberries

Strawberries

Unusual Fruit

Unusual Fruit

more crops

Announcements

Updates to Critical H2A Issue for NYS Farmworkers


From Julie Suarez, 9-22-17, 5 PM


Please see the below text which you are welcome to forward.

We're seeking additional regulatory clarity from DOH, Ag and Markets, and DOL regarding the issue of H2a employees and applying for benefits when signing up for the health insurance exchange. We anticipate further information being available next week from regulatory authorities. The issue is not health insurance; the issue in question is related to other benefits that H2a workers may inadvertently apply for in a navigator process and the paperwork issued which is in the form of a "my benefits" card and whether that disqualifies one from re-entry at the border during the U.S. Consulate interview process. Vermont growers are apparently facing similar questions at the moment.

Note that it would be important to consult with an attorney or your H2a association provider, and please know that we'll send out appropriate regulatory clarity as soon as it's received.

Julie C. Suarez
Associate Dean for Govermental & Community Relations
Office of the Dean
126 State St Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207
College of Agriculture and Life Science
Cornell University
office 518-434-4157, cell 518-728-6061
email: jcs433@cornell.edu
Below is from Julie Suarez, 9-22-17, 2 PM

Dear all;

In terms of the H2a issue, attorneys at DOH, DOL, and NYS Ag and Markets are seeking to provide some clarity.

Please know that the issue is not whether or not the H2a workers can access health insurance that is now legally required. The crux of the matter may be in how the employee signed up for health insurance. If they utilized a navigator service that automatically enrolled them or submitted the application for other benefits depending upon their income level (i.e. SNAP, WIC, etc.) then in such case they have actually applied for benefits.

Recall that at the border one of the screening questions is whether or not you've ever applied for benefits in this country. While a SNAP application from a foreign resident would be denied; the semantics are such that the employee, if answering completely, has now applied for benefits in this country - however inadvertently.

As soon as better guidance is received from the regulatory authorities we'll be sure to pass it along. In the meantime, if you have H2a workers who have not yet signed up for health care, please DO consult your h2a provider and/or an immigration attorney for better advice before encouraging them to sign. Or ensure that if they use a navigator, they carefully look to see if that navigator will automatically force an application for a different benefit stream.

I certainly didn't mean to panic anyone; but the reality is that with H2a system being notoriously difficult to utilize in the first place, sorting this issue out is pretty critical. Growers using the H2a program should at least be aware of this emerging issue and prepared to take some action and provide advice to employees, when we know what to say.




Below from Julie Suarez, 9-21-17, 3 PM

Critical issue for New York State's Farmworkers Enrolled in the H2a Program

I wanted to bring your attention to a critical issue for New York State's farmworkers enrolled in the H2a program.

As you may be aware, the Health Care Act allows for certain entities to serve as "navigators" charged with the specific responsibilities of signing up individuals eligible for the health care exchanges.

As you may not be aware, if an individual is a farm worker on an H2a contract, that individual is required to meet certain conditions for entry on an annual basis and is screened in their home country prior to admission in the US on an H2a work visa. One of the questions that will bar an applicant under the H2a program from future entry is whether or not the H2a worker has applied for benefits from a local, state, or national entity in the US. If so, the H2a worker is denied entry (the goal of the program is to ensure that admission is offered solely to foreign nationals and that while such foreign nationals are in this country, they cannot access US benefits or social services programs).

A local grower has reported recently that a health care navigator has begun signing up local H2a workers in Western New York for health insurance benefits on the state exchange system. While most likely well intentioned, the most unfortunate effect is that any workers who are signed up for health insurance are now considered to have applied for benefits domestically. This is a screening question and the H2a worker would subsequently be barred from admission next year into the country, despite whatever long history may have been enjoyed in previous years of working on farms during the season in the US.

I am writing this lengthy email to bring this issue to your attention, and to ask you to reach out to H2a employers in your area and ensure that they are familiar with this requirement and talk to their H2a employees. I would suspect strongly that an H2a employee being approached by someone who may have asked would you like health care, would be tempted to sign up without fully realizing the consequences.

Please help spread the word. Thank you, Julie.

Julie C. Suarez
Associate Dean for Governmental & Community Relations
Office of the Dean
126 State Street Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Office 518-434-4157 | Cell 518-728-6061
JCS433@cornell.edu | cals.cornell.edu

Produce Donations for Hurricane Relief

NYS Fruit & Vegetable growers are getting together some loads of "hard" crops (apples, onions, cabbage, winter squash and anything else you think will last a week at room temperature) to send down to TX and, likely, Florida. Feeding America is handling transportation. You will all receive a record of donation.

Dates are weekly to help donations be delivered to where they can be most efficiently used over the next month while emergency feeding continues. More locations can be considered if we can get the pallet count to fill a truck at that locations.

Please visit https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/pdf/event/pdf831_pdf.pdf for more details on times and how to donate and contact Maire Ulrich ASAP if you are interested in donating! (Maire: 845-742-4342/ e-mail mru2@cornell.edu/ office 845-344-1234 )

Produce Donations for Hurricane Relief

NYS Fruit & Vegetable growers are getting together some loads of "hard" crops (apples, onions, cabbage, winter squash and anything else you think will last a week at room temperature) to send down to TX and, likely, Florida. Feeding America is handling transportation. You will all receive a record of donation.

Dates are weekly to help donations be delivered to where they can be most efficiently used over the next month while emergency feeding continues. More locations can be considered if we can get the pallet count to fill a truck at that locations.

Please visit https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/pdf/event/pdf831_pdf.pdf for more details on times and how to donate and contact Maire Ulrich ASAP if you are interested in donating! (Maire: 845-742-4342/ e-mail mru2@cornell.edu/ office 845-344-1234 )

Produce Donations for Hurricane Relief

NYS Fruit & Vegetable growers are getting together some loads of "hard" crops (apples, onions, cabbage, winter squash and anything else you think will last a week at room temperature) to send down to TX and, likely, Florida. Feeding America is handling transportation. You will all receive a record of donation.

Dates are weekly to help donations be delivered to where they can be most efficiently used over the next month while emergency feeding continues. More locations can be considered if we can get the pallet count to fill a truck at that locations.

Please visit https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/pdf/event/pdf831_pdf.pdf for more details on times and how to donate and contact Maire Ulrich ASAP if you are interested in donating! (Maire: 845-742-4342/ e-mail mru2@cornell.edu/ office 845-344-1234 )

Produce Donations for Hurricane Relief

NYS Fruit & Vegetable growers are getting together some loads of "hard" crops (apples, onions, cabbage, winter squash and anything else you think will last a week at room temperature) to send down to TX and, likely, Florida. Feeding America is handling transportation. You will all receive a record of donation.

Dates are weekly to help donations be delivered to where they can be most efficiently used over the next month while emergency feeding continues. More locations can be considered if we can get the pallet count to fill a truck at that locations.

Please visit https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/pdf/event/pdf831_pdf.pdf for more details on times and how to donate and contact Maire Ulrich ASAP if you are interested in donating! (Maire: 845-742-4342/ e-mail mru2@cornell.edu/ office 845-344-1234 )

NEWA Survey Link

The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) wants you to take our online survey — it'll only take about 10 minutes of your time.

Take the survey now:
https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0GRlhOIDI5HwbR3

Whether you've used NEWA's online pest forecast models for years or have never used NEWA at all, we will benefit from your responses. Why? Because we are building a new website at newa.cornell.edu, one that'll be as easy to use on your smart phone as on your desktop, and we want to build it the way you want it to be.

NEWA is an online agricultural decision support system that uses real time weather data, streamed over the internet from 573 weather stations throughout the Northeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic. NEWA provides insect and plant disease pest management tools, degree days, and weather information for growers, consultants, Extension educators, faculty, and others.

NEWA models and resources are available free of charge, and are used to make informed localized crop management decisions. The NEWA website will be upgraded soon and we want to know what users', new and old, want and need out of the new website.

All responses are anonymous and confidential and will not be shared with any outside group.

Thank you for participating!

For more information:

Dan Olmstead
315.787.2207
dlo6@cornell.edu

NEWA Coordinator, New York State IPM Program
Cornell University, NYSAES
630 West North Street
Geneva, NY 14456

NEWA is a Partnership of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program and the Northeast Regional Climate Center.


2017 Champlain and Vermont Young Grower Trip

The 2017 Champlain and Vermont Study trip was a great success and NY growers had again an excellent educational experience. See more by clicking the following link.

https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=501&crumb=business|business

Fall 2017 - NYSDEC Region 8 Clean Sweep NY

The collection dates and locations are:
Tuesday:   October 3rd Watkins Glen
Wednesday:  October 4th Hornell
Thursday:  October 5th Lakeville
Friday:  October 6th Waterloo

Pre-registration is required
and registration packets can be requested by telephone or e-mail at the following:Telephone: 877-793-3769
E-Mail: info@cleansweepny.org

For more details visit:   http://www.cleansweepny.org/

Mechanical Blossom Thinning Video

Click link for Details.
Mechanical blossom thinning video and story.
https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=449&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



Spray Mixing Instructions Considering TRV

Spray Mixing Instructions Considering Tree Row Volume - TRV

Spray Mixing Instructions Considering Tree Row Volume - TRV
Terence Robinson, Poliana Francescatto, Cornell University
Win Cowgill, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

Click below for full article:

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_569.pdf

Precision Chemical Thinning in 2017

Precision Chemical Thinning in 2017 for Gala and Honeycrisp

Poliana Francescatto, Craig Kahlke, Mario Miranda Sazo, Terence Robinson

full article pdf. available here: https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=448&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38

2017 Census of Agriculture

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted' button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.


"Visual Guide" for March Pruning

A Practical "Visual Guide" for March Pruning of Young and Semi-Young High Density Apple Plantings
Mario Miranda Sazo

The document is a practical and colorful visual guide that shows some important pruning cuts to better grow and train the "money makers" Gala, Honeycrisp, and Fuji trees. The pruning cut decisions are easy to follow and their objectives are simple.  More information and the guide can be found here: https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=440&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



2017 LOF Winter Fruit School Presentations

2017 Winter Fruit School presentations that have been approved by the presenters are now available here https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=425&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38; past LOF Winter Fruit School presentations approved for public distribution can be found under the Apples at the bottom in a list.


Working with a Spanish Speaking Workforce

Please use the link below to watch a YouTube video in which Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy Specialist of the Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team and Mario Sazo, Extension Associate of the Lake Ontario Fruit Program discuss Building Campus County Connections: Working with a Spanish Speaking Workforce.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YkXmboxStE&feature=youtu.be


Apple System Payback Calculator Now Available!

Apple System Payback Calculator
You can down load this spreadsheet to help you calculate the return on investment for an orchard system you are considering to plant or invest in.


New York Apples and Hard Cider Classifieds

A new on-line classifieds has been launched to help apple growers and hard cider producers "connect" and conduct business. This website allows users to post items for sale and items for purchase. The site is not exclusive to growers and hard cider producers selling and buying to each other. The site can also be used for grower to grower business and hard cider producer to hard cider producer business. Click the following link to start the website: www.nyahcclassifieds.com. Click the following to download basic instructions on navigating the site: NYAHC Classifieds Notice


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