Thursday, October 20, 2022

WSDA launches bilingual resource to help farmers reduce risk of foodborne illness

Amber Betts
WSDA Communications

An image from the video resource tool teaching
about cleaning and sanitizing our team created. 
From farm to plate is an idea we love to think about in agriculture. Imagine your food growing at the hard-working hands of a neighbor; their careful attention to every detail to make that carrot, or apple, or other produce grow perfectly.

The path that food takes before it arrives on your plate is long and has many steps. Along the way there are microorganisms everywhere. These little guys (the microorganisms I mean), can contaminate our food and cause widespread illness in our communities.

That is why cleaning and sanitizing every surface and tool that touches produce is vital to public health.

Not only is it important, but it’s also required of most farmers by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

WSDA, along with our partners at the University of Georgia and New Mexico State University, developed an online-animated tool with three learning modules to help educators and farm managers reinforce fundamental cleaning and sanitizing concepts. It emphasizes how to select a sanitizer and monitor its concentration using test strips and titration kits. The interactive tool simulates how to follow proper monitoring procedures, evaluate results, and record findings. 

The modules are visually engaging and interactive, requiring users to apply critical thinking and realistic decision-making. All content is available in English and Spanish.

Asking for your help

Please take our 5-minute survey by October 30th. We want feedback from anyone implementing or educating on produce safety practices including:

¾    Farmers

¾    Packers and distributors

¾    Extension educators

¾    Government and non-profit employees

¾    Other agricultural professionals


To access the tool, visit

Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Produce Safety Program developed this educational resource in partnership with University of Georgia and thanks to New Mexico State University’s Innovative Media Research and Extension Department for all design production.

Financial support for this educational resource was provided by the WSDA Food Safety Program, the WSDA Regional Markets Program, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Test Strip Lab and the Titration Lab were supported by the FDA as part of a financial assistance award #U18FD005913 totaling $6,106,186 with 100 percent funded by FDA/HHS. The Introductory Animation and the How to Clean and Sanitize module, totaling $43,830, were 100 percent funded by the WSDA Food Safety and WSDA Regional Markets Programs. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.