Resources for Producers
Food Safety is a vitally important part of getting involved in Farm to School efforts. Young children are at higher risk for complications due to food borne illness, and the school districts purchasing local foods need to ensure that the products are sourced from farms following good health practices. School food service professionals and farmers should familiarize themselves with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP). GAP and GAH are not always required, each school district or early care site may have unique requirements or utilize alternative protocols for certifying food safety.
Here are additional resources that outline specific food safety protocols and certifications needed to sell products to schools:
•Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Food Safety Requirements for Producers Operating under the Oregon Farm to School Program
•USDA Local Food Safety FAQs
•USDA Guide: Implementing Farm to school activities safely
For very small farms, schools may have their own food safety requirements and may ask to visit your farm to review your on-farm food safety plan and walk the farm to observe the production, harvesting, handling, packaging and storage of the products you intend to sell to schools. The On-Farm Food Safety Plan and Checklist for Child Nutrition Programs will assist you with conversations and visits from school administrators.