State Announces $200,000 in Grants to Improve Massachusetts Farm Food Safety

HYANNIS – The state has announced $200,000 in grants to 24 Massachusetts farms, including nine on the Cape, to install practices that improve food safety within their operations.

The Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP) is a competitive grant program that allows agricultural operations to address food safety upgrades on their farms enabling the operations to meet buyer demands, increase consumption of local food, as well as protect public health by reducing food safety risks.

“Upgrading existing farm infrastructure is important for the Commonwealth’s agricultural businesses to maintain high quality, locally produced products in a safe, sustainable way,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

This round of grant funding has a focus on assisting commercial oyster farmers with meeting the Department of Marine Fisheries and the Department of Public Health (DPH) Vibrio Control Program. 

Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) is a human pathogen known to cause foodborne illnesses from the consumption of raw oysters. 

In an effort to address these foodborne illnesses the Vp Control Plan requires strict harvesting controls for oysters. 

Examples of awards to aquaculture operations to help meet these requirements include commercial coolers, cold storage, and ice machines all working towards reducing the temperature of oysters at harvest and continued cooling of oysters thereafter.

The following local farms are receiving grants through the AFSIP program and it totals $58,809.

Awardee Municipality Project Type Award
Detail Fish Provincetown Ice Machine; Insulated Vat $4,424
East Bay Oyster Farm, Inc. Plymouth Three (3) Insulated Vats $1,069
East Dennis Oyster Farm Dennis Ice Machine; Insulated Vat; Refrigeration $3,512
Edwards, Simon Nantucket Ice Machine $3,502
Pilgrim Bobby D’s Oyster Farm, Inc. Plymouth Ice Machine $3,147
Warren’s Cove Oyster Co. Plymouth Walk-in Cooler $20,000
Wellfleet Aquafarm Wellfleet Ice Machine; Two (2) Insulated Vats $5,436
Wellfleet’s Finest Oyster Company Wellfleet Ice Machine; Insulated Vat $4,657
WIYO Wellfleet Ice Machine; (4) Insulated Vats; Walk-in $13,062
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