Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Priyesh Vijayakumar


Produce is a high-risk commodity that is associated with numerous foodborne outbreaks each year. The Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule was designed to address these issues by requiring farms that grow, harvest, package, and/or hold produce to comply with science-based minimum guidelines. However, with the revival of the local food movement there is a subsequent flux in alternative food networks that handle produce but are not covered by this rule. Produce auctions represent only a fraction of these alternative food networks but are the focus of this study because of their interaction with the Plain community whose relationship with food safety is more complex given their way of life without the use of modern technology. Additionally, like other alternative food networks, produce auctions are struggling to understand whether they need to be in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule because they are unsure if their business is holding produce. This is primarily due to the current definition of “holding” that does not specify a minimum amount of time produce must be kept before it considered held. Using survey data, information about the functions and food safety practices yield results that conclude that produce auctions do hold produce and that the Produce Safety Rule is an appropriate and applicable food safety program for these businesses.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Extension and outreach program assistantship funded (2018) by the CAP grant that was made possible by the FDA grant number 5U18FD006459-01