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Iowa State University Meat Science Extension offers a wide range of training programs for the meat processing industry including our flagship Sausage & Processed Meats Short Course as well as courses focused on Dry & Semi-Dry Sausage Processing, Cured Meat, and Basic Sausage. We have also partnered with Smithfield Foods, an international company to offer 8 training programs exclusively for their employees.
Food processing is the largest industry in Iowa comprising 25% of the market with 5.8 billion in annual sales. Food borne illness is a serious threat in a food processing facility, especially one handling foods that are ready-to-eat when they leave the facility. West Liberty Foods, a producer-owned value-added cooperative, designed and built a “state of the art” meat slicing facility in Mount Pleasant, Iowa and supplies sliced meat to more than 6,000 quick serve restaurants nationwide. However, management understood that the most sophisticated food safety system is only as good as the training employees receive. Without thorough employee training, widespread food borne illness could occur and the company could experience significant financial losses.
Iowa State University Extension specialists and trainers from West Liberty Foods team teach an eight-hour pre-employment food safety course that includes principals of food safety including safe food handling techniques and how food borne illness can be prevented. Upon completion, participants that pass a closed-book exam are eligible to work in the West Liberty Foods plant. Once employed additional food safety training is required.
View the full case study at: http://universityeda.org/value-to-members/best-practice-sharing/awards-of-excellence/2014-awards-of-excellence/awards-of-excellence-2014-finalists/food-safety-training/