COS awarded specialty crop training grant

The grant supports will provide affordable food safety training

By Kaitlin Washburn

VISALIA – The College of Sequoias was recently awarded a grant to bolster the Central Valley’s specialty crop industry by offering affordable food safety training. 

The trainings available topics such as safety rules, foreign supplier verification, material hazards on crops and protections to keep food safe for human and animal consumption. The courses started this year and will continue into 2020. The trainings mainly take place at the COS Tulare College Center. 

Specialty crops are considered to be fruits and tree nuts, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices and nursery plants. 

In a news release announcing the grant, Josselyn Hurtado from Youngstown Distributors, Inc. said how important this training has been for business. 

“Information in this course will be very beneficial to my company. Many new techniques were learned and will be applied at my company,” Hurtado said. 

One of the trainings offered covers product safety rules, which will be held from December to May. The class provides a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule requirements and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. 

Importers, under FSMA, must have a plan in place to verify foreign suppliers are meeting the standards of public health protections. The foreign supplier verification program, which will take place on February 24-25, 2020, helps importers develop, maintain and follow such a plan. 

The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) class will be held in January, March and May, 2020. HACCP is a system that addresses food safety by analyzing and controlling biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

The preventive controls for human and animal foods classes can help students ensure safe manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of food products intended for human and animal consumption. The human food class will be held in December 2019 and April 2020, and the animal food class will be held in January 2020. 

Start typing and press Enter to search