After its first year of work, paid for with $100,000 from the Food and Drug Administration, the Sprout Safety Alliance has completed a pilot training session and is planning an online seminar about the sprout-specific requirements in the agency’s proposed rule for produce safety.

Set for 12:30 p.m. Central time March 20, attendees can register and pay for the Internet seminar at

Presenters for the Web session are scheduled to include Stephen Grove, alliance coordinator and manager of industry projects at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety. He will discuss the work of the alliance, which included a pilot training session in February.

Grove will continue to oversee the objectives of the alliance during its second year. As stated on the alliance website, 2013 will be used to continue content development for food safety training materials for small and very small sprout growers.

Also scheduled to participate in the online session are two FDA representatives from the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition: Samir Assar, director of the produce safety staff, and Joy Johanson, consumer safety officer from the produce safety staff.

Assar and Johanson are scheduled to discuss the requirements for sprout production in the FDA’s proposed produce safety rule. The proposed requirements include the use of validated seed sanitation procedures, testing of sprouts or spent sprout irrigation water for pathogens, and implementation of environmental monitoring plans.