Food safety plan assistance offered by the MSU Product Center

Learn more about how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) affects your business and how the MSU Product Center offers food safety plan development assistance to small food processors.

The MSU Product Center currently has a grant program to help small food processors develop Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety plans, food quality plans, and Specialized Retail Meat Variance applications.

The MSU Product Center services were critical with the enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that requires all new Michigan food processors with a meat, juice, or dairy food product to have a HACCP plan before commercialization. Additionally, food services businesses that use nitrites or smoke their meat also need food safety plans. As Per the FDA website, “Food facilities are required to implement a written preventive controls plan. This involves:

(1) Evaluating the hazards that could affect food safety.

(2) Specifying what preventive steps, or controls, will be put in place to significantly minimize or prevent the hazards.

(3) Specifying how the facility will monitor these controls to ensure they are working.

(4) Maintaining routine records of the monitoring.

(5) Specifying what actions the facility will (be) take to correct problems that arise.”

Due to the fact that the cost of food safety plans can be a burden for processors, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) provided a grant for the MSU Product Center to offer low to no cost services for such food safety plan assistance now through March of 2015.

MSU Product Center staff, along with specialists in the field, will visit companies needing this assistance and provide recommendations for the key components of a HACCP plan or Specialized Retail Meat Variance application. Restaurants, delis and food processors are all welcome to request these services.

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, also provides free business counseling for product development, package selection and marketing strategies that will help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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