Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings:  Activities to Increase Participant Engagement

Stephanie Alvarado, Rebecca Bland, Stephanie R. B. Brown, Joy Waite-Cusic, Jovana Kovacevic Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 124-138, Mar 2022 Volume 42, Issue 2: Pages 124–138 DOI: 10.4315/FPT-21-019

The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) created the first standardized and U.S. Food and Drug Administration–recognized Grower Training curriculum focused on the Produce Safety Rule. The standard PSA Grower Training is an 8-h, lecture-based training with limited opportunities for participant engagement. The objectives of this study were to increase PSA Grower Training participant engagement and assess immediate knowledge gain. We developed and incorporated supplemental learning activities into the existing training curriculum (PSA+). The two objectives were assessed using pre- and posttraining tests and evaluation comments, respectively, from 12 trainings (2019 to 2020; 6 PSA and 6 PSA+). Participant knowledge gain was significant (t = −16.72, P < 0.01) for each training and comparable between formats. Three questions with identical training content between PSA and PSA+ had significantly higher posttraining scores in PSA+. A question on what should guide risk management actions had less participants choosing the intended correct answer between pre- and posttest. Participants reported improved engagement in PSA+ and highlighted the need for more diversity and cultural sensitivity in PSA slides and verbal delivery of information. These findings identified additional resources that would be useful to participants and helped inform future training and trainer improvements.

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