North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Food processors are well versed in the aspects of preparedness, prevention, and response to contamination and product recalls through Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) training, and interactions with federal, state, and local regulatory officials. However, most if not all have no plan for recovery after a product recall due to contamination, whether it is intentional or accidental. Poorly managed restorations may result in layoffs, business closings, and long-term unemployment. Further, long recoveries can result in a loss of consumer confidence in the food supply and regulatory officials. For this reason, NCDA&CS developed a training regimen to instruct ready-to-eat (RTE) food processors in North Carolina how to develop remediation and restoration plans for their facilities to allow for an efficient, organized recovery after an intentional contamination event. This consisted of a daylong seminar with PowerPoint presentations and a 100- page guidebook with 13 sections covering specific aspects of developing a recovery plan. The seminar was presented 5 times in 2012-13 to food processors at different locations throughout North Carolina. Our goal is to improve this training, both the seminar and the printed material, so that it will be an applicable and freely available training tool for all food industry producers, trade groups, federal, state, and local regulators and public health officials across the United States. The training tool will not be exclusive for ready-to-eat food processors but rather will be expanded to a more general nature so that it will be applicable in a variety of situations and processing operations. This material will be posted on various websites for easy access and download. In addition, we will work with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Georgia Department of Agriculture in train-the-trainer workshops so they can set up training seminars for their food processors, as we have done in North Carolina, but specific for their own states. Together, we will contribute to the general training tools mentioned above and incorporate recovery and food defense aspects features most applicable for their state's use.
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