Produce International Partnership for Education and Outreach (PIP)
JIFSAN International Training Programs

Program Description

The Produce International Partnership for Education and Outreach (PIP) is a joint effort between JIFSAN, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and PSA, the Produce Safety Alliance, to share food safety training with the international community that satisfies the training requirements in the Produce Safety Rule.

Specifically, PIP will provide training that satisfies the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that stipulates ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, known as the Produce Safety Rule, mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), sets science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of certain fruits and vegetables. Under FSMA, produce that is imported and sold in the United States is held to the same standard as produce grown, harvested, and sold domestically.

To support the international community, PIP is tasked with developing and coordinating the dissemination of food safety training and outreach that prepares the international farming community to meet the food safety requirements set forth by the Produce Safety Rule. This includes working to ensure that the educational materials available are culturally and technologically sensitive. To achieve this, PIP will be responsible for translating the existing PSA Train the Trainer (TTT) curriculum so that it can be offered to international audiences, as well as, building a network of international trainers and Collaborative Training Initiatives (CTI) that leverage regional food safety partners located in countries that export produce to the United States.

In addition, PIP will have an active role in collaborating with international industry associations, universities, and other organizations in the development and delivery of training programs that address the local and regional needs of foreign farms in complying with the Produce Safety Rule. While the first compliance date for certain sprout operations has already occurred, the first major compliance date for large covered farms begins January 26, 2018. PIP is part of the FDA’s ongoing effort to ensure that both regulators and the regulated community are prepared to meet the new food safety standards set forth in the Produce Safety Rule.

The Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition was established between the FDA and the University of Maryland in April 1996 (About JIFSAN). The Institute supports the missions of the FDA and the University through the creation of partnerships to promote research, education, and outreach programs. The Produce Safety Alliance is a collaboration between Cornell University, FDA and USDA to provide the produce industry and associated groups with training and educational opportunities related to current best practices and guidance, and future regulatory requirements by establishing the Produce Safety Alliance.