Farm Food Safety Decision Trees

Farm Food Safety Decision Trees

Many growers are overwhelmed with the multitude of farm food safety best practices and recommendations. With limited time, money, and available labor, produce farms must learn how to prioritize which practices to use on their farm to reduce food safety risks as well as achieve business goals. These Decision Trees were created to help you prioritize your farm food safety practices and begin to build your own farm food safety plan.

The nine (9) Decision Trees are:
1. Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
2. Land Use
3. Soil Amendments
4. Wildlife and Animal Management
5. Agricultural Water for Production
6. Postharvest Water
7.Sanitation and Postharvest Handling
8. Traceability
9. Transportation

The purpose of the Decision Trees is to:

  • Help you begin to identify food safety risks and practices that reduce risks
  • Help you prioritize implementation of practices to use your resources most efficiently
  • Familiarize you with the terminology, tools and methods you may need to use to meet the requirements and expectations of your customers as well as future regulations for produce

All of the Decision Trees follow simple 'YES' or 'NO' pathways to help you assess your practices. Each tree has a series of questions to which you must answer 'YES' or 'NO'. Arrows lead you to the next question with guidance to increase understanding and outline best practices. Continue down the tree as determined by your 'YES' or 'NO' answers until you reach the end.

The recommended starting place is the Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training Overview. Click here to get started.

The Decision Tree Glossary contains the terms used in the Decision Trees and explains Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and how to create them.

We would like to acknowledge the authors of the “Farm Food Safety Decision Trees” for allowing us to develop this web based application;
Elizabeth A. Bihn¹,Ph.D.,Michele A. Schermann²,R.N.,M.S.,Annette L. Wszelaki³,Ph.D.,Gretchen L. Wall¹,M.S.,and Susannah K. Amundson³ M.S.
¹Cornell University, ²University of Minnesota, ³University of Tennessee

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