Tag Archives: food safety

Food Safety Training Opportunities

Food Safety Training Opportunities

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion will host an Acidified Canned Foods (ACF) Training and General Food Safety Training for Mississippi Certified Farmers’ Market Vendors and the Cottage Food Industries. The workshop is designed to teach the basics of food safety and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi. The General Farmer’s Market Food Safety Training will also take place after the ACF Course. This training session is highly recommended for all processed food vendors that attend Mississippi Certified Farmers’ Markets or sell at their farm, etc.


The workshop will be held Friday, February 24th, 2017 starting at 8:30am. The cost for the workshops is $15. The training workshop will be held at the Coastal Research and Extension Center of Mississippi State University in Biloxi, MS. Pre-registration is required and must be received by February 20, 2017. Bring payment or mail check to MSU FSNHP. Registration and information is attached.


Registration and information can be found: http://fsnhp.msstate.edu/docs/ACF_2242017.pdf


When Animals Come to Dinner

Do you have  nuisance animals in your yard, garden, or farm?  This presentation will give you some ideas for developing your own animal control strategy!

You’ll learn tips for dealing with above-ground pests, below-ground pests, and fliers.  Specifically, you’ll learn about deer control and exclusion and repellents to help you control feeding damage.

Click on the link below to see the PowerPoint presentation I recently gave at the SCALE Food Safety Conference.

When Animals Come to Dinner

When Animals Come to Dinner

Upcoming Event: SCALE


The Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and Alcorn State University Mississippi Small Farm & Agribusiness Center are hosting the SCALE Food Safety Conference on May 19, 2015 at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, MS.  This conference will provide valuable information on food safety and food defense for Specialty Crops, Aquaculture and Livestock Enterprises (SCALE).  Registration for the conference is $25 for farmers and students and $150 for agricultural professionals. For more information, please email nbell@alcorn.edu or call 601.877.2425.


In addition, a 2-day HACCP Training and Certification, May 18-19, 2015, for fruit and vegetable operations will be offered.  The registration fee for the 2-day HACCP training and certification is $200 per participant and space is limited to 15 participants.  If you or a staff member would like to participate in the HACCP training, please send an email to nbell@alcorn.edufood safety

Good Agricultural Practices Workshops (and they’re FREE)


 Fruit and vegetable growers can learn techniques to make their produce safer for the consumer during one of four upcoming Mississippi State University workshops.

Specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will conduct four separate workshops across the state on developing and implementing good agricultural practices and good handling practices.

The voluntary guidelines, referred to as GAPs and GHPs, were issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998 to help growers eliminate food safety hazards that can occur during growing, harvesting, cleaning, washing, sorting, packing and transporting unprocessed foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables.

“More distributors are becoming aware that preventing and controlling the contamination of fresh produce at the farm is key to producing wholesome, healthy products,” said Barakat Mahmoud, an assistant research and Extension professor of food science at MSU. “By completing GAP and GHP certification, producers can assure government regulators and customers worldwide that the produce industry in Mississippi is diligent in its commitment to producing safe, high-quality products.”

The following workshops are scheduled:

  • Jan. 13 at the Forrest County Extension office, 952 Sullivan Dr., Hattiesburg;
  • Feb. 10 at the Frank T. (Butch) Withers Jr. Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center, 1320 Seven Springs Rd., Raymond;
  • Feb. 17 at MSU’s Bost Auditorium, 190 Bost, Starkville campus; and
  • March 11 at the Coastal Research and Extension Center, 1815 Popps Ferry Rd., Biloxi.

All workshops will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.

Topics include site selection and soil; agricultural water; fertilizer and pesticide use; animal exclusion; worker health and hygiene; produce cleaning and water treatment; packing and storage; traceability; harvesting; cooling; transportation; and U.S. Department of Agriculture audit verification checklist.

Registration is free and open to all Mississippi fruit and vegetable growers who sell to the fresh market. Seating at each location is limited to the first 25 participants to preregister. A pre- and post-test will be given. Those completing the course will receive a certificate of completion. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

To preregister or for more information, contact Mahmoud at 228-762-7783, ext. 301, or bmahmoud@ext.msstate.edu.

The workshop is funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Southern Risk Management Education Center. Instructors are MSU Extension and research professors Mahmoud, Christine Coker, Eric Stafne and Gary Bachman, and Alcorn State University food safety specialist Nicole Bell.

The MSU workshops are free, but farmers must pay for each independent audit of their farms. Mississippi farmers who successfully pass the certification class can apply for a cost-share program through the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce to help cover the cost of the initial audit. For more information about this program, contact Michael Lasseter at 601-359-1120 or michaell@mdac.ms.gov.