Purdue Extension leading melon harvest preparation workshops

June 5, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Extension is offering two workshops for Indiana melon growers to help them maintain food safety practices as they prepare for the harvest.

Offered at two locations beginning Monday (June 9), these sessions will focus on packinghouse preparation, safe harvest practices and preparation for potential regulatory inspections.

Purdue Extension began offering such workshops last year in response to a 2012 salmonella outbreak in cantaloupe traced to a producer in southwest Indiana and potential federal inspections of Indiana packinghouses.

"Produce food safety for commercial melon growers continues to be a major focal point going into the 2014 harvest," said Scott Monroe, agriculture and natural resources Extension educator in Daviess County. "Purdue Extension will be hosting these workshops to provide producers with the information they need to prepare for potential regulatory inspections and maintain food safety in their businesses."

Dates and locations:

* June 9, 8 a.m. to noon EDT: Kamman's Farms, 4683 S. State Route 135, Vallonia.

* June 13, 8 a.m. to noon EDT: Oaktown Produce Depot, 13990 N. Old U.S. 41, Oaktown.

Though the workshops are especially intended for melon growers, Monroe says any produce grower can find valuable information on how to maintain food safety in harvest and packaging practices by attending. The Indiana State Department of Health will also be participating in the workshops and will be updating growers on current topics, as well as sharing results of their 2013 sampling program.

The workshops are free, open to the public and do not require registration. Participants are required to wear closed-toed, flat shoes and long pants at all locations.

Those who need a reasonable accommodation to participate or want additional information on the program should contact Scott Monroe at 765-427-9910 or jsmonroe@purdue.edu

Writer: Emma Hopkins, 765-494-8402, hopkine@purdue.edu 

Source: Scott Monroe, 812-249-8666, jsmonroe@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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