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Helping Specialty Crop Growers Develop Effective Sanitization Programs

Attend an Upcoming Workshop!

The IFS@CU and UVM Extension Ag Engineering are collaborating with Cornell Cooperative Extension teams across New York State to host a series of remote workshops on Cleaning and Sanitizing on Produce Farms and in Packing Facilities in the spring of 2021. This remote 3.5 hour webinar will provide:

  • A brief review of microbial risks in produce farms and packing facilities
  • Conducting a Sanitation Operational Assessment
  • Presentations focused on the:
    • Basics of wet and dry cleaning and sanitizing
    • Value and importance of sanitation SOPs
  • A hands-on exercise writing a sanitation SOP

Check back again soon for upcoming dates.

*Projects supporting this workshop include the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Specialty Crop Block Grant agreement no. C00198GG; USDA-NIFA Food Safety and Outreach Program award no. 2016-70020-25792; USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative award no. 2016-51181-25402; FDA NECAFS Special Project Grants Program award no. 1R01FD005686.


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.


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.

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.


COVID-19 Guidance

COVID-19 Guidance from NYS related to Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting for Farms and Food Manufacturing Facilities:

COVID-19 Food Industry Resources from the IFS@CU


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)


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.