On-Farm Food Safety Information for Foodservice Personnel — Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering Dept., University of Minnesota — The goal of this document is to provide a list of questions about on-farm food safety practices that foodservice personnel can use when talking with farmers from whom they are considering purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. The questions are meant to be a guide so that foodservice can have an informed discussion with a farmer about the food safety practices that they use on their farm.
Legal Issues Impacting Farm to School and School Garden Programs in Minnesota — Public Health Law Center — This legal synopsis provides an overview of the key legal issues involved in farm to school and school garden programs in Minnesota.
MN School Garden & Farm to Cafeteria Safety — Statewide Health Improvement Program — Guide developed in 2013 as a resource for garden planning, harvest safety, and food safety in the cafeteria.
"Is this legal?" That's a question often asked about local food sales. Local food inspectors are ready to help you. We encourage you to connect with them in the beginning to help you through your local food purchases. Because local food sales and purchases by Minnesota school districts have soared in recent years, some local county and city health inspectors are not aware of all of the state rules that support these types of sales. If there seems to be an issue with how regulations are interpreted at the local level, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Dairy and Food Inspection Division to ask for clarification: 651-201-6627.
The University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture developed the following fact sheets for using and purchasing local foods, canning, freezing, or drying foods as well as picking mushrooms for school foodservice settings.
- Safe Use of Salad Bars in Schools (659 K PDF)
- Serving locally grown produce in food facilities (282 K PDF)
- Existing food facilities planning to can fresh foods for sale (293 K PDF)
- Existing food facilities planning to freeze, dry, or otherwise preserve (307 K PDF)
- Approved Sources of Meat and Poultry for Food Facilities (391 K PDF)
- Sale of Locally Raised Eggs to Food Facilities (604 K PDF)
- Harvesting and selling wild mushrooms in Minnesota (399 K PDF)
- Hand sanitizers: Not a replacement for hand washing in foodservice settings (247 K PDF)
Keep Food Safe
Remember, the benefits of consuming fresh produce, far outweigh the risks. Check out these resources to keep your food safe and reduce the risks of foodborne illnesses.
Produce Safety University — A USDA food-safety initiative with a farm-to-plate approach that focuses on the safe handling of fresh produce by school foodservice.
Best Practices: Handling Fresh Produce in Schools — National Food Service Management Institute
Fruit, Vegetable, and School Garden Safety — USDA’s Team Nutrition — Best practices for handling all types of produce are described in this fact sheet, along with practices specific to leafy greens, tomatoes, melons, and sprouts.
Washing Fruits and Vegetable Sample SOP — USDA and National Food Service Management Institute — HACCP-based SOPs.
Food Safety — University of Minnesota Extension — Offers in-person and online training courses, including ServSafe, Serve It Up Safely, Food Safety Employee Training, and more.