UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Professionals in the food industry who want to learn about food safety and sanitation now can take an online course offered by Penn State Extension.
“Food Safety and Sanitation for Food Manufacturers” is provided by Extension’s Food Safety Team. It is designed to help food manufacturers and others in the food industry understand and avoid the risks of food contamination and food-related illness.
“Food safety – it’s one of the most important issues facing the food processing and manufacturing industry today,” said Luke LaBorde, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “A major recall or worse – a foodborne-illness outbreak – can be a costly nightmare for a company. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of either of these catastrophes.”
He explained that personnel responsible for identifying sanitation failures or food contamination should have a background of education or experience, or a combination thereof, to provide a level of competency necessary for production of clean and safe food. Food handlers and supervisors should receive appropriate training in proper food handling techniques and food-protection principles and should be informed of the danger of poor personal hygiene and insanitary practices.
“New regulations represent a new approach toward preventing foodborne illnesses,” LaBorde said. “Food processing and manufacturing businesses are charged to take a preventative, instead of a reactive, approach. This means that the food industry will be responsible for understanding potential risks in their operations and developing science-based measures to control those risks before a problem actually occurs.”
This self-paced course is designed to teach participants the essentials of food safety, food microbiology, sanitary design principles for facilities and equipment, worker hygiene practices, correct procedures for cleaning and sanitizing, food defense and plant security, and more.
Discussed are potential hazards; the scientific principles behind food safety; personal hygiene practices to minimize contamination; fundamentals of sanitary equipment and facilities design; regulatory requirements and preparing for inspection; and preventing deliberate contamination. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of course completion from Penn State.
To learn more or to register, please visit extension.psu.edu/food-safety-and-sanitation-for-food-manufacturers.
About Penn State Extension: Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization, dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. It serves individuals, businesses and communities, helping them address problems and realize opportunities through a robust portfolio of educational programs, products and services. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.
–Penn State Extension