Workshop trains processors to meet requirements of federal and state food laws

Photo by Meer

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced a training workshop sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Department of Virginia Tech, along with Virginia Cooperative Extension. The course takes place May 21-22 and is designed for processors of acidified food products such as pickles. The course will take place in Room 132 of Virginia Tech’s Food Science and Technology Building, located at 22 Duck Pond Road Blacksburg, VA 24061. The registration fee for the course includes a student text book, training, lunch on both days and examinations. The cost is $250 per person and space is limited to 36 people.

Topics include Microbiology of Thermally Processed Foods, Acidified Foods, Food Container Handling, Equipment Instrumentation and Operation for Thermal Processing Systems, Principles of Food Plant Sanitation, Principles of Thermal Processing, Recordkeeping for Product Protection, and Container Closure Evaluation for Glass, Flexible and Semi-rigid Containers. Instructors will give examinations throughout the course and will grade them quickly so that students are aware of their progress.

Successful completion of the Better Process Control School certifies supervisors in the requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 114, which states: “All plant personnel involved in acidification, pH control, heat treatment, or other critical factors of the operation shall be under the operating supervision of a person who has attended a school approved by the Commissioner [of Agriculture] for giving instruction in food handling techniques, food protection principles, personal hygiene, plant sanitation practices, pH controls, and Critical factors in acidification.”

“During the previous legislative session, several producers expressed an interest in having this training available,” said Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner. “I am delighted that Virginia Tech is able to offer these courses at such a low cost. This will be a terrific benefit to those wanting to sell pickles or other acidified foods.”

Pre-registration and payment are required by May 14, 2012. A registration brochure is available by calling VDACS at 804.786.3520. For additional information, interested parties should contact Dr. Karleigh Bacon at 540.231.6806 or kbacon@vt.edu.

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