Producing pickles, salsa, canned vegetables or sauces for sale? Attend Better Process Control School

Businesses that require Federal Food & Drug Administration certification to produce acidified and low acid foods or acid foods in hermetically sealed containers should attend Michigan State University’s upcoming Better Process Control School.

One of the most popular commercial food product concepts among clients of the Michigan State University (MSU) Product Center is canned salsa, followed by pickled vegetables, pasta sauce and catsup.  What do these foods have in common?  They contain naturally low acid vegetables and must be processed in sealed containers under certain acid and heat conditions in specially designed equipment.

Acid and heat factors are applied in the commercial production of low-acid foods to inhibit the growth of naturally-occurring Clostridium botulinum which flourishes under anaerobic and non-acid conditions posing a potential health threat.

Businesses that produce pickled or low-acid and acidified foods and others (such as aseptic processing) must be certified by attending a Better Process Control School and successfully completing appropriate examinations.  Michigan State University is offering a Better Process Control School March 17-21, 2014.  The Two Day:  Acidified Foods session will be held March 17-19; the Four-Day Acidified Foods and Low Acid Canned Foods will be held March 17-21 pending enrollment numbers. Course details and registration are available online.

Those registering by Feb. 28, 2014, will receive the textbook prior to the school. The last day to register online for the class is March 3, 2014.

There are many aspects of starting a commercial food business beyond certification requirements, entrepreneurs are encouraged to seek business counseling by Michigan State University Extension educators.  Requests for counseling may be made at www.productcenter.msu.edu, or by calling 517-432-8750.