Washing CucumbersConsumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased in the U.S. in recent years, but this has also been accompanied by an increase in produce-associated foodborne disease outbreaks. Produce has been associated with people getting sick and even dying from Salmonella, Listeria and E. Coli. Since many types of produce are not cooked before eating, it is essential that produce growers and all those handling produce along the chain to the consumer use the safest practices possible to ensure the safety of their produce.

In response to this growing number of produce-related food safety outbreaks, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011, with a goal of preventing contamination in the U.S. food supply instead of responding to contamination issues. Produce safety is one of the key focus areas of FSMA, with the final produce safety rules released in November 2015.

Our former Food Safety Specialist worked jointly for University of Missouri Extension and K-State Extension to provide information and resources for produce growers in Kansas and Missouri. The goal is to improve the safety of the fruits and vegetables they grow, as well as to meet the requirements of FSMA and third-party audits such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).

Free microbial water testing

KSU and MU Extension offer free microbial water testing to KS and MO produce growers through generous grant funding. More information on free testing can be found at K-State Extension Food Safety: Microbial Water Testing


Produce safety materials


Sanitation videos

Handwash Station

Sanitizer Basics

Importance of Proper Cleaning and Sanitizing

How to Clean and Sanitize Packing Areas & Harvest Equipment

This website and its contents were made possible by grant number 1U18FD006145-01 from FDA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the FDA.

GAPs cost share funds available to MO produce growers
  • For a limited time, MU Extension has GAPs cost share funding available for Missouri produce growers, which will pay for up to half the cost of USDA, Quality Fresh, Primus, GlobalGAP or other GAP certification, up to a total of $800/farm/year.
  • Can be used for GAPs audits occurring between Nov. 1, 2019 and Aug. 30, 2024.
  • MU Extension can also provide technical assistance to farmers in preparing for the GAPs audit.

Learn more (PDF)