Public Food Safety Requirements Affect Many Farmer's Market Vendors

January 13, 2015

 Contact:

Jill Gifford

402-472-2819

Jgifford1@unl.edu


LINCOLN, Neb. — A two-day school in April will give participants a better understanding of safety issues surrounding acidified canned foods.

 The University of Nebraska Food Processing Center's Better Process Control School for Acidified Foods is scheduled April 20-21 in Lincoln.  This school is suitable for anyone requiring certification; however, it has been designed specifically for individuals with little or no food science or food safety background, small processors and those selling products at farmers’ markets and other local events.  The school includes hands-on basic training as well as testing and certification.

 The FDA defines acidified foods as products with a high acidity level, or a pH level below 4.6, and a high level of moisture, or a water activity above 0.85. These foods include beans, cucumbers, cabbage, artichokes, cauliflower, peppers, salsas, some sauces and fish, singly or in any combination. Exempted from FDA regulations are acid foods, repacked acidified foods, fermented foods, carbonated beverages, jams, jellies, preserves and refrigerated foods. The Better Process Control School equips attendees with a scientific understanding of strategies of pathogen control, especially clostridium botulinum.  Food companies that are uncertain if their products fall into this category can contact the Food Processing Center or their local health inspector.   

By law, each processor of these types of foods must operate with a trained supervisor on hand at all times. The Food Processing Center is certified by the FDA to teach this school.    All processors of these types of foods must complete a Better Process Control School training program. These regulations apply to any size processor, including those that sell products through farmers' markets, on-line and to local stores.

Upon successful completion of the school, participants become certified and their names are submitted to the FDA. The school is taught by faculty and staff experts from the Food Processing Center. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required.

 For more information or to register visit the website fpc.unl.edu or contact Jill Gifford at 402-472-2819 or e-mail jgifford1@unl.edu.