Assessment of Apple Packers' Training Needs and Attitudes on Food Safety and The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Lordwige Atis, Muhammad Siddiq, Leslie Bourquin, Bradley Marks, Kirk Dolan

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 29-39, Jan 2020

Volume 40, Issue 1: Pages 29–39

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In January 2014, Bidart Bros., an apple packer in Bakersfield, California, voluntarily recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples because of a listeriosis outbreak linked to prepackaged caramel apples from its facility. Around the same time, the final rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a food safety law that places the focus on prevention rather than reaction to foodborne illness outbreaks, were near publication. Such a critical event provided the opportunity to assess the current food safety practices, training needs, and attitudes and opinions of apple packers regarding the FSMA. For this study, three surveys were administered, and a Food Safety Training Workshop was held for apple packers. Results revealed that the majority of apple packing facilities had necessary food safety practices in place or were working toward incorporating them into their facility. Survey respondents expressed a need for microbial-related trainings and FSMA trainings, with both being of highest priority for food safety training topics. The attitudes and opinions of the apple packers showed that there are gaps that need to be addressed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in terms of current processor practices affecting foodborne outbreaks and the resources provided to educate about the FMSA.

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