Press release

Two leading organizations in the dairy industry announced today that they will partner to provide a new series of courses designed to support and advance the dairy industry’s longstanding commitment to food safety. The International Dairy Foods Association and Chestnut Labs will offer a hands-on laboratory training program designed specifically for all dairy industry personnel with food safety responsibilities, including managers and technicians in quality assurance and control, sanitation, operations and maintenance.

“Our industry is proud of the rigorous quality assurance systems that have made dairy products a safe, healthy part of American diets for generations,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “With this new training course, we are combining IDFA’s experience in providing exceptional educational services that meet the industry’s specific needs with Chestnut Labs’ unrivaled reputation in microbiology testing. This course will offer participants in-depth expertise and training they will not get in other food-safety related courses.”

With the emphasis on hands-on learning in a laboratory environment, the course will enable dairy quality assurance managers, technicians, lab personnel, microbiology technicians and others responsible for ensuring food safety to remain on the cutting edge of food safety testing best practices and requirements. Highly experienced instructors will demonstrate the latest industry practices, incorporating new thinking and proven techniques, while using the using the laboratory equipment most commonly available in dairy plants.

“Chestnut Labs and IDFA understand that it is critical for dairy companies to meet and exceed all foods safety standards so they can continue to provide safe and healthy products, assure customer loyalty and comply with regulatory mandates,” said Kristen Dixon, general manager and vice president of Chestnut Labs. “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with IDFA.”

The first course, “Hands-on Microbiological Testing and Laboratory Practices,” will be held October 15-17, 2013, at the Jordan Valley Innovation Center in Springfield, Mo. The class will be taught by three food safety experts with more than 50 years of experience working in or with the dairy industry: Dr. Beth Ann Crozier-Dodson, director of Microbiology with Chestnut Labs; Kristen Dixon, general manager and vice president of Chestnut Labs; and Clay Detlefsen, vice president of regulatory affairs with IDFA.

Participants will learn proper plating, reading and interpretation of common indicator microorganisms; how to prevent common mistakes in microbiological testing; choosing the correct test methods and sampling plans; and how to perform internal laboratory audits.

“The course’s real-life orientation ties in applicable processes to the learning objectives, something that will help participants retain the knowledge learned in the classroom and apply it directly to their own facilities and procedures,” said Dixon.

Class size is limited to 50 participants. For more information, please visit Hands-on Microbiological Testing and Laboratory Practices course.