The Missouri Food Safety Task Force hosts an annual Food Safety Conference annually. Cindy Borgwordt, Lincoln University Food Safety Specialist, presented the recently awarded NIFA grant which is offering no cost food safety for regulators, outreach staff that consult with farmers and processors, inspectors, farmers market managers and also small farmers, processors, and food manufacturers.
The response was overwhelming. The majority of participants were food inspectors and they are very eager to learn more to provide help to their clients. Classes are taught by two highly qualified partners – Dr. Derrick Payne, The Food Safety Dr. LLC, and Mr. Joe Bullinger, with the Missouri Enterprise Program (MEP). MEP has offices statewide with staff that assist new manufacturing efforts, including food production for humans and animals. The Missouri Department of Agriculture Feed and Seed Program is also a partner as they have shared the great need for Preventive Control for small feed operations and pet food producers.
The audiences expressed their tremendous appreciation for this opportunity as they otherwise would not be able to attend these classes, and they stated that this will greatly improve their ability to help the clients they serve. We also partnered with the Lincoln University Small Business Development Center; they assist many new small food businesses to start up and have offices with support staff statewide.
All of these efforts directly support the Show-Me Food, Beverage and Forest Products Manufacturing Initiative, which identified these statewide needs. We will be offering HACCP, Food Manager Training and Preventive Control for Human Food and Preventive Control for Animal Food.