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688 Action Items Found
Coordinate a network to encourage peer-to-peer learning and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge of the food wholesale system.
Expand the role and purpose of CQP as a sustainability program and a food safety certification and regulatory certainty program.
Gather data and modify key program requirements to increase the local use of CQP as a market access tool for wholesalers and retailers.
Increase participation in the CQP program, through outreach and education, for direct-market farms to ensure they employ and maintain the same food safety and environmental practice requirements as farms required to do so for market access.
Establish a CQP technical steering committee with members of MDAR, DEP, DCR, DMF, UMASS Extension and other identified State and Federal partners to maintain program sector requirements and provide timely science-based updates to the program as well as emerging regulatory inclusion.
Develop resources to provide food safety regulation information, technical assistance and training including through Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources (MDAR), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and University of Massachusetts (UMass) Extension.
Adopt CQP as Massachusetts’ farm food safety standard to meet all federal requirements.
Establish a system of certification pre-audits that are available for producers prior to official audit.
Ensure that MDAR has personnel resources to conduct audits or contract with third parties to audit.
Review and revise, with input from DPH, producers, and retailers, existing model policies that can be adopted by boards of health regarding specific or regional food safety concerns, and create new ones where needed there are gaps.
Create clear expectations and interpretation of the food code, and a mandatory public process for issuing DPH and local BOH regulations so that all stakeholders are involved in the process of crafting and reviewing proposed regulations prior to implementation.
Fund a coordinated effort to expand the makeup and scope of existing statewide Massachusetts food safety advisory groups, in interpreting and providing recommendations on implementing, and enforcing food safety regulations related to local food production and distribution.
Strengthen relationships between local boards of health, DPH, buy local organizations, and other organizations to share information and improve dialogue.
Create instructional resources for producers on the food safety protocols along the value chain, especially as FSMA is implemented.
Require training for all boards of health agents on the Massachusetts Food Code, food safety, best practices, and FSMA, conducted by DPH, MA Health Officers Association, and the MA Association of Health Boards.
Provide state support and technical assistance to local boards of health developing food safety regulations.
Fund and build capacity of regional organizations to provide food safety and handling training that is accessible to all boards of health in each region.
Develop and integrate throughout MDAR and UMass Extension technical assistance to producers in obtaining and maintaining food safety certifications as required by buyers and FSMA, along with technical assistance for the Commonwealth Quality Program and GAP.
Provide support to the Massachusetts Partnership for Food Safety Education to improve consumer food safety education programs. Focus on product labeling, freshness dating, and related information.
Create a program of public education and point-of-sale signage about safe handling of food during and after purchase.