Better Process Control School - February 2024

February 26, 2024 - February 28, 2024

Erickson Hall, 620 Farm Ln, East Lansing, MI 48824

Contact: For more information about the course contact ANR Event Services at 517-353-3175 or

The Federal Food & Drug Administration published in the Federal Register, March 16, 1979, Vol. 44, No. 53, a regulation titled, ACIDIFIED FOODS AND LOW—ACID FOODS IN HERMETICALLY SEALED CONTAINERS—MANUFACTURE & PROCESSING.  Parts 113.10 and 114.10, Personnel state:

“All operators of retorts, processing systems, and aseptic processing and packaging systems, and container closure inspectors shall be under operating supervision of a person who has attended a school approved by the Commissioner for giving instruction in retort operations, processing systems operations, aseptic processing and packaging systems operations, and container closure inspections, and has been identified by that school as having satisfactorily completed the prescribed course of instruction.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has selected Michigan State University as one of the authorized schools to present the Better Process Control School. Students who successfully complete this course will meet FDA certification requirements.

Dates, Times and Location:

In person February 26 - 28, 2024. Breakfast will be available each day at 7:30 a.m., and the course will begin at 8 a.m. The course will end by approximately 5:30 p.m. each day, although some participants may finish earlier on some days depending on the agenda and their selected certificate tracks.

The course will take place in Erickson Hall, 620 Farm Ln, East Lansing, MI 48824. Parking information and room numbers will be provided one week prior to the event.

Tracks and Fees:

Acidified Certification: $550

Aseptic Certification: $550

Retort Certification: $650

You may select one, two or all three tracks. Two or more tracks is $700 total. Individual pricing is above.

If you are producing pickled products or tomato-based sauces with pH <= 4.6, choose “Acidified Certification.”  If you are producing vegetables or non-tomato-based soups or sauces cooked in a pressurized vessel at high temperature, choose “Retort Certification.”  If you are producing aseptic products, choose “Aseptic Certification”.

Registration fees include course tuition and breakfast, lunch, and snacks on each attended course day. All registrations must immediately follow with payment. Registration DOES NOT include the required course text book - Canned Foods: Principles of Thermal Process Control, Acidification and Container Closure Evaluation (9th Edition). After registering, you will receive an email confirmation with information about purchasing the required textbook. The textbook costs $125, not including shipping. Exams are open book.

The first 19 participants will receive the book for a discounted price of $100 through MSU. This fee includes shipping. Please sign up for a book in registration. Only 19 books are available on a first come/first serve basis. Book purchases through MSU are final.

You may withdraw from this course with a full refund less a $100 processing fee provided we are notified of the cancellation by Feb. 11. Cancellation requests on or after February 12 will not be refunded. If you are unable to attend, a substitute from the original registrant’s institution or company may attend. 


After each lecture session and related discussion, exams will be completed. The exams are standardized by the Consumer Brands Association Foundation with approval of the FDA. A minimum score of 70% for each completed exam is required to pass.

All participants must complete chapters 1, 2 and 8. All participants must complete at least one chapter from chapters 5, 6, and 7.

Acidified certification requires participants to additionally complete chapter 15, and choose to complete either chapter 3 or 4 (chapter 3 is recommended if unsure).

Aseptic certification requires participants to additionally complete chapters 4 and 14.

Retort certification requires participants to additionally complete chapters 3 and 9, and choose to complete at least one of chapters 10, 11, 12, and 13.

Participants may select to complete any chapters not required by their certification. Additional chapters beyond certification track requirements are optional.

See additional information about the specific tracks by downloading the graphic below.

Agenda: (subject to change, updated on 2/7)

Monday, February 26

  • Chapters 1, 2, and 8 (required for all)
  • Chapter 15 (required for acidified)
  • Chapter 3 (required for acidified and retort)

Tuesday, February 27

  • Chapter 6 (recommended for anyone using jars)
  • Chapter 9 (required for retort)
  • Chapter 10 (recommended for retort using steam)
  • Chapter 12 (recommended for retort using overpressure)
  • Chapter 4 (required for aseptic)

Wednesday, February 28

  • Chapter 14 (required for aseptic)
  • Chapter 7 (recommended for anyone using flexible and semirigid containers)
  • Chapter 5 (recommended for anyone using double seamed containers) 
  • Chapter 11 (optional for retort)
  • Chapter 13 (optional for retort)


Successful completion of the course requires attending the course and passing all necessary tests with a score of 70% or greater. After satisfactory completion of the course, you will be awarded a certificate for the track you register for and complete. The certificate of completion will list the subjects passed with a score of 70% or greater and will be distributed via email after successful completion of the program.

MSU reserves the right to cancel or reschedule the course due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If the course is cancelled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees.


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