The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) was selected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide Native American Outreach, Training, Technical Assistance and Education to ensure compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FSMA was passed by Congress in 2010 and the final requirements implementing the FSMA were put into place in late 2015.
The IFAI has developed a series of food safety webinars designed to help Native American farmers, ranchers and food producers to begin to understand the importance of food safety and what is necessary to reach compliance under the FSMA. Attendees will learn about produce safety, food-borne pathogens, worker health, wildlife, land use, post-harvest handling, and legal issues associated with food safety in Indian Country. This series is part of a two-fold effort to reach producers and food businesses. In the coming days, IFAI will launch a series of two-day in-person events in regional locations. Stay tuned for the announcement of these hands-on trainings.
Please use the links below to register for the webinars in this series. All presentations are free and open to the public, and each session will include time for attendee questions and discussion of issues with the presenter. Many of the presentations use Produce Safety Alliance approved materials and serve as an important preparation for attending in-person events.
Upcoming FSMA Webinars
Thursday, June 22, 2 – 4 pm Central
“So You Think You’re Exempt?”
Many Native American farmers, ranchers, and food operations within tribal jurisdictions conduct business with the assumption that their activities are protected under the sovereign rights of their tribe. While this may be true for some activities, with food safety compliance it certainly may not be the case. This is an individual farm-by-farm, farm business-by-farm business, ranch-by-ranch determination as there are no “overall exemptions” for Tribal farms, ranches, and food businesses. This session will cover the importance of food safety certification in ALL types of tribal food operations and the potential liability that Native farmers and food businesses face if they choose to ignore FSMA compliance or believe incorrectly they are exempt when they are not. Please join us to review the essential information necessary to protect your family, your products, and your business.
Thursday, July 6, 2 – 4 pm Central
Worker Health, Hygiene and Training
This webinar will focus on the potential for contamination associated with anyone who works on a produce farm and covers basic adult learning concepts to consider when training anyone working on your farm. Ways in which monitoring and corrective action can occur and corrective action can occur when problems are identified and basic policy development if you hire workers; types of facilities and resources to be should be made available to workers help keep your operation in compliance with food safety requirements.
Thursday, August 10, 2 – 4 pm Central
Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use
This webinar will identify the basic ways wildlife and your own domesticated animals can have on your operation and how your operation can be impacted your operation and also discuss basic practices to mitigate against the food safety risks animals may cause. The webinar will discuss management, monitoring and corrective actions to mitigate possible food pathogen contamination when you identify signs of animal intrusion.
Thursday, Sep 7, 2 – 4 pm Central
Postharvest Handling (Part 1)
This webinar will discuss and identify potential routes of contamination in harvest and post-harvest settings including harvest, washing, storage, packing, cooling, and transportation. We will discuss key parts of pest control programs and key principles associated with cleaning and transporting produce as well as corrective actions that can be taken to reduce risk and key recordkeeping requirements.
Thursday, Oct 12, 2 – 4 pm Central
Postharvest Handling (Part 2)
This webinar will discuss standard operating procedures and the importance of maintaining strict controls on biological, chemical and physical food safety risks on the farm and in the packing and shipping areas of the business. We will discuss general packing area maintenance and principles of sanitary design and controls.
Thursday, Nov 9, 2 – 4 pm Central
Legal Issues in Tribal Food Safety (Part 1)
This webinar will discuss general legal issues that all farms growing produce (fruits and vegetables) face and will provide key discussion points to ensure the produce has a firm grasp on spotting legal issues and the preventive steps to take before problems arise.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2 – 4 pm Central
Legal Issues in Tribal Food Safety (Part 2)
This webinar will discuss very specific legal issues pertaining to farms that grow produce (fruits and vegetables) in Indian Country and will provide key discussion points to ensure differences in jurisdiction and authority are identified; we will also assist the Tribal producer or those producing food on Indian Country lands in identifying and spotting key issues that face us as unique producers.
Completed FSMA Webinars
Introduction to Produce Safety (Part 1)
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2 – 4 pm Central
Click here for presentation slides.
This first of two introductory webinars will introduce general food safety principles for a fruit and vegetable farm; microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) that are of concern in fresh produce; the common ways produce is contaminated and how contamination is spread; basic strategies to prevent and reduce exposure of produce to microorganisms/human pathogens. Critical Concepts include: basic introduction to the Food Safety Modernization Act; how to conduct basic risk assessments; basic introduction to Good Agricultural Practices and Standard Operating Procedures; the value of a food safety plan and basic steps in monitoring, recordkeeping and taking corrective action.
Introduction to Produce Safety (Part 2)
Thursday, March 9, 2 – 4 pm Central
This second of two introductory webinars will pick up where Part 1 left off and provide more detail to the producer on the wide variety of issues necessary to understand basic produce safety and becoming prepared for Food Safety Modernization Act compliance.
Microbiology Basics (Part 1)
Thursday, April 13, 2 – 4 pm Central
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This webinar will introduce the producer to general principles of food microbiology and modern mechanisms for the discovery and prevention of microbial growth in foods. We will discuss the type and number of microorganisms in foods and the types of microorganisms in foods: bacteria, fungi, viruses and other agents, parasites, algae and others. We will discuss issues with food borne illness in certain types of foods, focusing on raw and ready-to-eat vegetables, fruits and nuts. We will identify the basic food borne illnesses resulting from microorganisms and human health impacts of such diseases.
Microbiology Basics (Part 2)
Thursday, May 11, 2 – 4 pm Central
Click here for presentation slides.
In this second webinar, we will continue discussing microbiological principles; primary sources of microorganisms in foods, water, plants and plant products; food equipment and packaging materials; microorganisms in intestinal tracts of humans and animals; food ingredients; animals, birds and fish; air, dust and soil; sewage; and food handlers. We will discuss improper handling procedures affecting microbial growth in foods and discuss the side effects and impacts of food borne diseases. We will also discuss helpful prevention principles as well as techniques that are the underpinning of preventing food borne illness problems in modern food safety.
The Intersection of Business Planning, Risk Management and Food Safety
Any questions about this webinar series or other FSMA trainings should be directed to Food Safety Coordinator Sandy Martini (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Food Safety Director Dr. H.L. Goodwin (email@example.com).