Food Safety Track

Cheese Makers’ Resource Conference 2018

In the 2018 conference, we are offering a Food Safety topic track.  Come to these topics to learn about compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)!  This is an open help session with two food safety experts – use it to your advantage. 

Dr. Kerry Kaylegian, Penn State University Extension
Steven Murphy, Dairy Practices Council

Come prepared!

  • Think about what you want to work in the open session:  What do you need the most help with? Writing GMPs? Writing SSOPs? Writing a Flow Diagram? Hazard analysis?
  • Bring a list of questions about your food safety plans
  • Bring any procedures, documents, or food safety plan elements that you have in progress or completed that you would like to have reviewed by food safety experts.

Plenary Session:  What Does FSMA Mean to Me and How Do I Get Started?

The Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. Most people have heard the term, but still are unclear as to the implications of this major regulation for all food processors, no matter how large or small. All food processors need to have food safety elements in place including employee training, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and associated documentation. Small processors that may be exempt from some of the regulatory aspects still need to conduct a hazard analysis and then implement and monitor the procedures used to control hazards and reduce the risk of foodborne illness in their facilities. Do you know what you need to do? Will your facilities be ready by the compliance deadline? This session reviews the requirements of FSMA for all facilities, with a focus on what small-scale cheesemakers need to do to reduce the risk of food safety problems in their facilities.

Topic:  What Are the Potential Dairy Hazards and How Do You Control Them?

When developing food safety programs for a specific food such as cheese, it is important to understand the hazards that are potentially associated with the food and the process; where they come from; and how best to control them. Hazards are defined as any biological, chemical or physical agent that has the potential to cause illness or injury. Biological hazards include microorganisms that cause disease; chemical might include animal drug residues, cleaning chemicals or food allergens; and physical hazards would be anything that might cause chocking or trauma to the digestive tract. The most likely hazards associated with milk and dairy foods will be discussed with insight given on potential sources and best practices that are used to prevent or control them.

Topic:  A Review of GMPs and Prerequisite Programs

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Prerequisite Programs are the foundation of a food processing facility that is clean and safe for food production. These practices and programs cover the whole processing facility from personnel hygiene and sanitation practices to equipment and building conditions and everything in between. Think of these as what you need to have in place before you even start making cheese. These programs are separate from the Food Safety Plan that contains the hazard analysis and control procedures to minimize risk when making a specific food. This session discusses what is needed for any cheesemaking operation to

Topic:  Understanding Flow Diagrams Used for Food Safety Plans

When developing food safety programs there are several initial steps that are commonly used. The flow diagram is one of those steps that serves as an overall description of the manufacturing process and is used as a road map when performing a hazard analysis, where you identify steps where hazards are introduced and controlled. Typically it is a basic block diagram that includes the primary steps in the process from receiving raw ingredients to packaging, storing and delivering the final product. It should include all inputs and outputs. The flow diagram will allow inspectors and potential customers better understand your product and process; it is often used to identify critical control points as well. Items that should be included in a flow diagram will be discussed and examples and tools used to develop them will be presented.

Workshops:  Open Practice Sessions

The topics are followed by two workshop sessions.  Come for hands-on practice in writing GMPs, SOPs, SSOPs, and drawing flow diagrams.