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National Agriculture in the Classroom

school garden center

Food Safety

PhotoWe anticipate that students will eat the food produced in their school garden. For this reason, it is important to understand how to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) address food safety issues concerning water, soils, land use and animal access, tools, equipment and storage, employee and volunteer training, and record keeping. The Growing Safer Gardens Handbook gives a great overview of GAPs in school gardens. For more information about school garden food safety refer to the USDA's Food Safety Tips for School Gardens and Handling Fresh Produce in Classrooms. Check with your local/state health department and school and district administration to be sure you are following prescribed protocols for your school, county, and state.