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Innovation Center for US Dairy to hold food safety workshops to prep dairy industry for FSMA compliance

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Mary Ellen Shoup

By Mary Ellen Shoup+

Last updated on 10-Jan-2017 at 15:44 GMT2017-01-10T15:44:24Z

All workshops will cover both wet and dry dairy product operations. ©iStock/pia_ch
All workshops will cover both wet and dry dairy product operations. ©iStock/pia_ch

The Innovation Center for US Dairy (IC) has announced its plans to implement a 2017 schedule of food safety training for the US dairy industry, which will include educational tools and hands-on training of FSMA-compliant controls.

The schedule will include six two-day workshops in various US states including California, Oregon, Wisconsin. New York, Texas, and Illinois.

The Food Safety Committee of the IC was founded in 2010 to help improve dairy industry practices and reduce health risks in dairy foods through workshops targeting dairy plant safety, artisan/farmstead cheesemakers, and supplier food safety management. The workshops were designed and are taught by industry professionals for the benefit of the entire dairy Industry.  

“I think the incidence of food safety is down, but the visibility has gone way up,” Tim Stubbs previously told DairyReporter.

Stubbs explained that while the dairy food supply has become increasingly safer, the industry’s ability to identify contamination has increased exponentially, along with a heightened awareness of food safety standards.

Dairy plant food safety workshops

The FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January 2015 with the purpose of building a new food safety system through developing and implementing preventative controls programs in dairy manufacturing facilities.

Participants in the workshop will learn best practices and practical approaches for pathogen control through short lectures and hands-on small group exercises, which include environmental monitoring, sanitary designs, and developing SSOPs.  

It provides a framework to build knowledge and programs in support of FSMA preventive controls and food safety plans.  The workshop is intended to help the dairy industry develop FSMA compliance programs and teach implementation of best practices to address specific requirements.

Focus on preventing incidents of Listeria contamination

At the center of the Dairy Plant Food Safety workshop is the Listeria Control Guidance Document, written by dairy industry experts to educate and communicate best practices for food safety practitioners, including topics such as hourly employees, engineers, quality professionals, senior staff, contractors, and suppliers.

Using the 40-page guidance document, the IC teaches a method of Listeria control called the “Pathogen Equation,” which starts with separating raw from ready-to-eat areas in a dairy facility and maintaining that controlled environment throughout the flow of personnel, supplies, and equipment, significantly reducing the potential for cross–contamination.

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