School Garden Food Safety

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School gardens are increasingly being used as hands-on tools to help students learn many core educational concepts. Not only do school gardens help produce educated students, but they also produce an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The School Garden Food Safety Program was developed to meet the needs of schools that wanted the produce from its garden to be served in the school's cafeteria.


The University of Arizona collaborated with The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to develop guidelines for school gardens (School Garden Food Safety Guidelines). These guidelines follow GHP/GAP (good handling practices and good agricultural practices), which minimize microbial food safety hazards for fresh fruits and vegetables. Schools who follow the School Garden Food Safety Guidelines and schedule an inspection by ADHS will receive a certification. This certification will allow the school garden to be an approved source from which the school cafeteria can receive produce; meaning, the produce from the school garden can be served in the school cafeteria.

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The Arizona Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Consultation and Training has funded all or a portion of this Project, using Specialty Crop Block Grant funds provided by the USDA,
Agricultural Marketing Service.