This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Enhancing Food Safety in Indoor Agriculture in the United States: Developing a Need-Centered Curriculum Aligned with the Produce Safety Rule and Good Agricultural Practices




Volz, Tuany

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis



Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Unstable crop prices and extreme weather led to reliance on hydroponic farmers by grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Safety concerns have arisen in indoor agriculture with recent recalls and outbreaks linked to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. While training programs exist to educate conventional growers on reducing food contamination risks, there is currently a lack of targeted training for indoor growers to address their specific needs. These indoor growers do not have access to personalized training that supports them in acquiring the knowledge they need to comply with the current regulations and industry standards to minimize risks in their operation. The outputs of this research will be used as a foundation to develop training for indoor growers based on their specific needs. The study will be executed in two distinct phases. The results from a needs assessment survey (phase one) will provide information to guide the development of the customized curriculum (phase two) detailing procedures and food safety best practices based on scientific information. The curriculum material will be used to train educators and indoor growers at local and multi-state levels to facilitate knowledge gain on the specific and unique challenges that indoor agriculture operations face.