Before I started at UNH Cooperative Extension, I was a farmer myself, and like many other farmers, I found the introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to be incredibly confusing. It wasn’t until I joined UNH Extension’s FSMA team that I learned about a fantastic online tool that I wish I knew about as a grower.
The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety, or NECAFS (pronounced “knee-calfs”) is a collaborative effort among 12 states in the Northeast and the District of Columbia to help growers and processors in the region understand, and better work within FSMA guidelines. They have conferences and newsletters - found here on their website - but the tool I wanted to talk about today is their Food Safety Resource Clearinghouse.
The Clearinghouse is an online, curated library of Farm Food Safety resources from reputable sources around the country. It has resources of all different formats, and best of all, it’s searchable. If I want to learn more about manure application, I just type “manure” into the search bar, and the first three resources that appear are a fact sheet, a podcast, and a video. Want to know more about how to build a proper Packing Shed? Typing “pack shed” brings up a handbook, video, and fact sheets on the topic.
Best of all, under the “advanced search” tab, growers can search for resources in six different languages. This is a great way to help spread information to workforces that may speak Spanish, or Hmong as their primary languages.
To find the Clearinghouse, simply go to foodsafetyclearinghouse.org.