Contributed on behalf of the Innovation Center for US Dairy

In continuing programs to assure dairy products are safe, healthy and an important part of the American diet, the Innovation Center for US Dairy will continue providing the dairy industry food safety training through a series of workshops in 2014.

These full day workshops have been designed and are offered by dairy and food safety professionals, focusing on best practices for in-plant pathogen control. Workshops will be offered to three separate dairy audiences including dairy plants, controlling supply food safety risks, and artisan/farmstead cheesemakers.

Dairy Plant Food Safety workshops will kick off with a Feb. 11 to 12 workshop in Phoenix, Ariz., hosted by United Dairymen of Arizona. Participants learn best practices and practical approaches for pathogen control through short lectures and hands-on small group sessions which include microbial swabbing techniques and strategies, evaluating sanitary design, and developing standard sanitation operating procedures (SSOPs). The workshop will help attendees understand how to build HACCP pre-requisite programs and prepare the attendees for new Preventive Controls requirements of FSMA. Significant learning comes from student interactions with peers from other companies and the subject matter expert trainers. The workshops will provide attendees a rare opportunity to share and learn food safety from fellow industry and food safety experts.

Additional dairy plant workshops for 2014 include:

  • April 29 and 30 Kansas City, Mo. Host: Schreiber Foods and Dairy Farmers of America
  • June 3 and 4 Plymouth, Wis. Host: Sargento Cheese and Foremost Farms
  • July 8 and 9 Syracuse, N.Y. Host: HP Hood and Land O’Lakes
  • Sept .16 and 17 Denver Host: Leprino Foods, Glanbia USA, Hilmar Foods

Supplier Food Safety Management workshops come to Chicago suburb

Supplier Food Safety Management Workshops will assure the dairy industry food safety performance of their supplier network. The workshop is science based and was designed to help companies identify, quantify, and mitigate risks from ingredients, packaging, equipment, and services. The approach taught is consistent with HACCP, GFSI schemes (SQF, BRC), and proposed FSMA requirements which broaden a dairy company’s accountability for its suppliers. Attendees will learn how to use a toolkit that assesses supply/suppliers for food safety hazards and will help determine appropriate prevention and mitigation steps.

Participants will be introduced to ‘minimum’ and ‘best’ practices associated with supplier food safety programs and given valuable food safety tools that include Risk Assessment Calculator, Food Safety Guidance Document in addition to practice sessions using the Tool Kit and sharing best practices with fellow attendees.

Supplier Food Safety Management workshops for 2014 will be held:

• May 13 and 14 Rosemont, IL - hosted by DMI
• Sept. 23 and24 Rosemont, IL - hosted by DMI

Food Safety Workshops for artisan cheesemakers will be held across the country

Artisan/Farmstead Cheesemaker Food Safety Workshops will be held in various locations around the country with the first being held in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., on March 11, sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. As artisan cheeses continue to gain popularity among consumers, there is a growing demand for distribution including farmer’s markets, retail, and foodservice outlets. The distinct nature of artisan and farmstead cheesemaking creates unique food safety practices and protocol that must be followed. The workshops will feature best practices for pathogen control and provide training to attendees on areas such as GMPs, preventative controls, sanitation, microbial controls, testing, and environmental monitoring.

In addition to the Wisconsin workshop, other areas that will host an Artisan/Farmstead Food Safety Workshop are New York/Connecticut, Tennessee, Southern California, Texas, Michigan, Missouri, and the Washington DC area. Specific dates and location will be announced by the Innovation Center soon.

More information on the 2014 Innovation Center for US Dairy’s food safety programs and to register for any of the upcoming workshops, visit