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Increasing Peer-to-Peer Training and Technical Capacity through a Listeria Environmental Monitoring Certificate Program for Spanish-speaking produce safety staff


The proposed Collaborative Education and Training project will develop a Listeria produce safety training and education cohort program in Spanish, targeting small and medium size farms, produce packing and processing facilities, and other parts of the produce supply chain in the Southern United States, with the overarching goal of decreasing listeriosis illnesses related to fresh produce. Because of the role that states are playing in providing education and enforcement of 21 CFR 112 Produce Safety Rule (PSR), this program will also be available to bilingual state produce regulatory program representatives. Organizing the trainings by cohort will provide an expanded learning environment which will promote critical thinking, engaged problem solving, and peer-to-peer coaching. Participants will be supported through ongoing mentorship throughout the two-month program, with the opportunity to advance and serve as trainers/mentors.Through the collaborative efforts of the InternationalFresh Produce Association, Food Safety Consulting & Training Solutions, LLC (Food Safety CTS), and the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), this proposed Listeria food safety training and education program will impact produce operations who may have language and/or financial barriers that prevent them from taking advantage of specialized trainings.This project will address the key challengesand strategies for preventing L. monocytogenes contamination on farms (particularly packinghouses) and in produce processing and handling facilities, focusing on the southern region, based on our previous work and existing organizational relationships in this region and the unique demographic it represents. To accomplish this goal, we will develop a training program that includes both asynchronous modules and virtual, interactive experiential learning sessions facilitated by mentors, culminating in a formal program certificate. Supplemental Train the Trainer (TTT) materials will also be developed and taught virtually to further increase the L. monocytogenes and environmental monitoring training capacity within the participants' regions. Overall, the cohort training program will support national alignment in fresh produce Listeria management-based curriculum while leveraging regional partnerships to tailor discussions and activities to meet specialized needs of produce operations. The four objectives are:Raise awareness and understanding of L. monocytogenes risks and management specific to the fresh produce industry through the development of Spanish-language asynchronous interactive educational materials blended with live (online) instructionSupport long-term improvement in L. monocytogenes management by tailoring discussions and activities to meet the specialized needs of program participantsDevelop a sustainable model and increased training capacity for Listeria education within the produce industry by developing Spanish-language Train the Trainer (TTT) opportunitiesMeasure positive change in L. monocytogenes management programs through post-evaluations following learning experience

McEntire, Jennifer
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