Following recent outbreaks of food-borne illness related to produce, several local partners are coming together to address concerns. The University of California Cooperative Extension, the Fresno County Ag Commissioner’s Office, the Small Farm Program, and the Fresno County Farm Bureau are hosting an Ag Food Safety Forum. The meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21, from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Fresno County Farm Bureauu.

“We have invited experts to speak to our local agricultural community because of the current focus on challenges related to food safety,” said Richard Molinar, Small Farms Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension.

University of California Davis researchers and Agricultural Extension Specialists Trevor Suslow, PhD; Linda Harris, PhD; and Marita Cantwell, PhD will present food safety information targeted to growers and packers; considerations for retail, food service, and home; and the importance of temperature management. Local health experts Kate Farrell and Tim Casagrande, and Fresno County Ag Commissioner, Jerry Prieto will outline planned regulatory response to a local outbreak. Local Farmer Jeremy Lane, from Baloian Packing, will discuss the role of the farmer in food safety.

“One hundred participants have pre-registered to take part in what is expected to be the first of several forums,” Molinar said.