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Food Safety for Organic Food Processors Webinar Series

by Meaghan Donovan |

Recently passed federal regulations require food processors to meet certain food safety standards. Join us for this webinar series to learn what your business needs to do to comply. Through the nine-part series, we will walk through the different compliance categories of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for food processors, as well as review what each category of businesses needs to do to comply. Then we’ll dive deeper into food safety topics such as hazard analysis and validation. Get your food safety questions answered in this introductory series for organic processors!

Spring 2022 Recordings:

Webinar #5: Hazard Analysis for Organic Food Processors

Are you an organic processor who’s confused about what types of food safety preventive controls you need to implement in your operation? If so, you’re in the right place. During this webinar we will walk through the process of hazard analysis, which is the first step to implementing preventive controls. We will also cover the rationale for when a hazard is elevated to requiring a preventive control versus a hazard that will be controlled by Current Good Manufacturing Practices. You’ll also receive useful resources to assist you in conducting a hazard analysis of your business’s processing facility.

–    Webinar Recording 

Webinar #6 & 7: FSMA Produce Safety 101 for Small Organic Farms

In response to requests from organic processors seeking more information on the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, we’ve added two webinars to this series on the topic. During the webinars, we’ll review the fundamentals of on-farm food safety for small and very small organic produce farms, as well as discuss Produce Safety Rule compliance requirements for small farms. Attendees will gain tips on how to improve produce safety on their farms, as well as work towards compliance with the Produce Safety Rule as their business grows. We will also walk through how to determine if a farm is considered a processor or a “farm-mixed-type facility” under the FSMA regulations.

Part 1 Recording 

Part 2 Recording

Webinar #8: Validation for Organic Processors

Validation is required for process preventive controls as outlined in the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule.  Validation is data that provides the evidence that the process preventive control implemented will control the hazard that was identified. Validation studies can include existing data generated by others or can include in-house studies conducted by a food processor. In this webinar we will use examples of different food products requiring various process preventive controls to illustrate the type of data that is required for validation.  We will highlight useful sources of existing data, as well as resources for those that may need to conduct an in-house validation study.

–    Date/Time: March 22, 2022 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time

–    Recording

Webinar #9: Cottage Food Laws in California and Washington State

Nearly every state in the United States has a cottage food law that allows for the sale of low-risk foods produced in a home kitchen. However, these laws vary widely between states.  Differences include types of products that can be made and sold, annual sales limits, as well as how/where the food can be sold.  In this webinar, we will cover the specifics of the cottage food laws in California and Washington states. We will review details on how to get registered, what types of types of licenses you’ll need, and product labeling requirements.  

–    Date/Time: April 27, 2021 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time

–    Recording

Fall 2021 Recordings:

The majority of the content from our fall 2021 webinar series is applicable to food processors across the United States. A small fraction of the content will address state-specific food safety. California and Washington-state-based processors have the opportunity to watch webinar recordings with food safety experts knowledgeable about their state’s specific food safety regulations. Food processors based in other states are encouraged to watch any of the recordings.

Webinar #1 – FSMA 101 for Organic Food Processors

Are you unsure about where your business falls under the different FSMA rules? Are you confused about whether someone from your business needs to attend a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual training course? You are in the right place! In this webinar we will review the different compliance categories of the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule, including Qualified Facility, Fully Subject Facility, and the Farm Mixed-Type Facility under the Produce Safety Rule. You will also learn which businesses are required to have a “Preventive Controls Qualified Individual” who must attend a multiday standardized training.

–   Recording – Washington Webinar held on September 14, 2021 – 10:00–11:30 a.m. Pacific Time

–   Recording – California Webinar held on September 15, 2021 – 10:00–11:30 p.m. Pacific Time


Webinar #2 – FSMA Preventive Controls Rule, Qualified Exemption

Find out what you need to do if your food business is eligible for a Qualified Exemption under the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule in the second webinar in our FSMA 101 for Organic Processors series. During this webinar we will review the calculations used to determine qualified facility status, highlight FDA filing and record requirements, and walk through the modified compliance requirements for qualified facilities.

–    Recording – Washington webinar held on October 12, 2021

–    Recording  – California webinar held on October 13, 2021

Webinar #3 – FSMA Preventive Controls Rule, Fully Covered Category

Does your business fall into the fully covered category of the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule? If so, join us for the third webinar in our series, where we will go over the requirements for a covered facility, review required training, and walk through the process for registering with FDA.

–    Washington Webinar Registration – November 9, 2021 – 10:00–11:30 a.m. Pacific Time

–    California Webinar Registration – November 10, 2021 – 10:00–11:30 a.m. Pacific Time


Webinar #4 – Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs)

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) are required by the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule for all food processors regardless of their compliance status. In our fourth webinar, we will go through the basics of cGMPs requirements and recordkeeping. Learn about the food safety requirements for buildings, equipment, and personnel, among others. Useful resources and templates will be shared during the webinar to help ensure successful implementation of these requirements.

–    Washington Webinar Registration – December 14, 2021 – 1:00–2:30 p.m. Pacific Time

–    California Webinar Registration – December 15, 2021 – 10:00–11:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Meet Our Team

Lead Trainer: Dr. Erin DiCaprio is an assistant cooperative extension specialist in community food safety in the department of food science at the University of California, Davis. She is a lead instructor for the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule and a trainer for the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. DiCaprio routinely offers food safety training to small-scale food processors and distributors in California. 

Washington Food Safety Expert: Dr. Stephanie Smith is a statewide consumer food safety specialist in the School of Food Science at Washington State University. She is a lead instructor for the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance’s Preventive Controls for Human Food and for the Produce Safety Alliance’s Grower Training, which are both officially recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for FSMA training. Smith is also an instructor for the Better Process Control School. She delivers food safety and regulatory training to growers, food processors, food handlers, and consumers across Washington state. 

Washington Organic Experts: Scott Rice and Heidi Peroni both work for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Organic Program. Rice is the program’s external affairs coordinator and is responsible for a wide range of organic policy, regulatory, and certification activities. He recently completed a 5-year term representing organic certifiers on the USDA National Organic Standards Board. Peroni is the program’s education and outreach specialist. She develops program resources and administers grants related to improving technical assistance for certified clients and the organic community. 

California Organic and Food Safety Experts: Jacob Guth and Ana Rivas both work for CCOF Certification Services’ food safety program that specializes in GLOBALG.A.P. food safety certification for organic producers. Guth serves as the program’s director, and Rivas is a food safety certification specialist.

Thank You to Our Funder

This webinar series is supported by Food Safety Outreach Program Grant 2020-70020-33025 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.