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Helping Specialty Crop Growers Develop Effective Sanitization Programs

Sanitation Workshops will Return in 2022

We have completed offering workshops in 2021. However, the IFS@CU and UVM Extension Ag Engineering in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension teams across New York State hope to host additional workshops on Cleaning and Sanitizing on Produce Farms and in Packing Facilities in 2022.

We will post announcements for future workshops here.


Color Coding Tools Video ThumbnailCleaning, Sanitizing and Hygienic Design Video Series

Color Coding Cleaning Tools

Watch this short video from our Cleaning, Sanitizing and Hygienic Design series, which addresses five general rules on how to establish a color coding system in your pack house or food facility.

Cleaning – Assessing your Operation (Part 1)

This is a 2-part short video series on Cleaning. In Part 1, cleaning is defined within the context of establishing a sanitation program for a farm or packinghouse. It also covers considerations as an effective cleaning plan is established, including the importance of communication, identifying surfaces that need cleaned and their attributes, assessing infrastructure and tools, training priorities, and finally, recordkeeping.

Cleaning – Wet and Dry Cleaning (Part 2)

In Part 2, both wet and dry cleaning are described as well as considerations regarding water management and assessing if surfaces have been effectively cleaned.


Key Resources

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing Fact Sheet

Follow this step-by-step guide for cleaning and sanitizing.

Based on the curriculum presented in the Produce Safety Alliance’s Grower Training Curriculum, this fact sheet explains the difference between cleaning and sanitizing, and then details the four steps to cleaning and sanitizing. Remember, “You cannot sanitize a dirty surface!” You must clean a surface first and then sanitize it.

Sample Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Update this sanitation SOP to use in your facility.

This sanitation SOP (also known as an SSOP) provides an example of the step-by-step instructions you should follow to clean and sanitize the surfaces, tools and equipment in your operation. The sample provides an outline of what should be included in a sanitation SOP, including the purpose, scope, responsibility, materials and procedures. Most importantly, this sanitation SOP needs to be updated for use within your facility!

Cleaning and Sanitizing Record Template

Use this template to keep a record of cleaning and sanitizing tools or equipment on your farm.

Your operation can use this Cleaning and Sanitizing Record Template (developed by the Produce Safety Alliance) to keep a record of when and how you clean and/or sanitize tools or equipment on your farm. The first page of the template provides an example of how you would complete the record. The second page is a blank template that you can print and use.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Operational Assessment

Use this template to assess practices and resources on your farm.

Your operation can use this Cleaning and Sanitizing Operational Assessment (developed by the Produce Safety Alliance) to assess practices and resources on fruit and vegetable farms to help develop an effective sanitation program. Sanitation includes cleaning, sanitizing, and drying food contact surfaces as appropriate.

Selecting a Sanitary Design Consultant

Use this document as an aid when considering a sanitary design consultant for your facility.

As your sanitation program is developed and refined, you may need the guidance and assistance of an experienced consultant who can bring technical knowledge and expertise to evaluate elements of sanitary design in your facility. They can assist with assessments to identify sanitation needs, equipment selection, training goals, and even design for new construction. This document discusses how to select a consultant and how to get the most out of the relationship.

Do Not Mix Chemicals Sign

Facility signage

Post this sign as a reminder of the DOs and DON’Ts for using detergents, sanitizers, disinfectants and acids in your operation.

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Pesticides Management

Information portal

Provides pesticide product information and allows you to search a database of products. It also provides information about restrictions for use of products in New York State.

Hygienic Design for Produce Farms

Evaluate the hygienic design of the equipment in your operation with this guide and checklist.

The University of Vermont’s Extension AG Engineering website has resources available on the hygienic design for produce farms. On their website, you can download a guide that outlines the five key principles of hygienic design of equipment found on produce farms. You can also download an On-Farm Hygienic Design Checklist and instructions that can be used to evaluate the equipment in your produce operation and help you to determine a plan of action to improve areas of design in your operation and to identify preventive or reactive maintenance.


Additional Resources by Program:

UVM Extension Ag Engineering | @UVMAgEng

Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) | PSA in Spanish

National GAPs Program

Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS)


COVID-19 Guidance

***The state disaster emergency issued in response to COVID-19 ended June 25, 2021. The COVID-19 Guidance from NYS related to Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting for Farms and Food Manufacturing Facilities is now archived and no longer mandatory, but included here as a reference.***

Click here for more COVID-19 Food Industry Resources from the IFS@CU.


This work is supported by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Specialty Crop Block Grant, Agreement # C00198GG, Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Sanitary Design: Helping Specialty Crop Growers Develop Effective Sanitation Programs. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.