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Publication #FCS8842

Small Farm Food Safety, Fresh Produce: Part 1: Introduction to the PACE Principles1

Brian Lapinski, Amy Simonne and M.E. Swisher2

Time required: 10 minutes

Materials for Trainer

  • Computer with PowerPoint, LCD projector, screen

  • “Keep P.A.C.E!” (Power Point slides)*

Advance Preparation for Trainer

Additional Resources

Materials for Participants

  • None


Introduce the idea of food safety on the farm through an overview of the P.A.C.E principles.


Present the slides and lead a discussion of the key principles that they illustrate. Make sure to discuss the key points indicated. Encourage engagement in the learning process by asking participants to comment on their own experiences.

Figure 1. 

    • Title

Figure 2. 

    • Credits

Figure 3. 

    • Each letter in PACE represents an important idea for reducing microbial contamination.

    • Current technologies cannot eliminate all potential food safety hazards associated with fresh produce that will be eaten raw.

    • Therefore, our aim is risk reduction, not risk elimination.

Figure 4. 

    • The first PACE principle is prevention.

    • Prevention is a philosophy and mindset that we can lose easily when our lives are too busy.

    • Relying on corrective actions alone is not good enough. Fixing a problem usually takes more time than preventing the problem in the first place.

    • If we fail to prevent contamination, we make more work for ourselves in the long run and we are more likely to suffer legal consequences.

Figure 5. 

    • The second PACE principle is accountability.

    • Accountability is key at all levels of the agricultural environment: the farm, the packing facility, the distribution center, and the transportation system.

    • Qualified personnel and effective monitoring are critical for ensuring that every element of the food safety program functions correctly.

Figure 6. 

    • The third PACE principle is control.

    • Today's agricultural operations rely on an increasingly specialized and segmented network of suppliers and distributors.

    • Many factors affect the ecosystems where farms are located.

    • Producer must be knowledgeable about both the human and the environmental factors that affect their farms and do their best to minimize their contribution to microbial contamination.

Figure 7. 

    • The fourth PACE principle is education.

    • Worker hygiene and sanitation practices during production, harvesting, sorting, packing and transport play a critical role in minimizing the potential for microbial contamination.

    • Everyone involved must be educated and held accountable for worker hygiene and sanitation.

    • Everyone who is a part of the production process must understand the food safety program on the farm.

    • Adequate, ongoing education makes this possible.

To obtain copies of the DVD that accompanies this publication, please contact the IFAS Extension Bookstore at 1-800-226-1764 or order online at



This document is FCS8842, one of a series of the Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 2007. Reviewed November 2013. Visit the EDIS website at


Brian Lapinski, graduate student, Amy Simonne, professor, and M.E. Swisher, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.