Leveraging Partnerships Among North Carolina Extension Programs to Build Food Safety Educational Capacity and Expand Industry Accessibility to Resources

Added by Lynette Johnston • Last updated June 19, 2024
Author: Lynette Johnston; Kate Nicholas; Clint Stevenson; Ellen Shumaker; Ben Chapman
Type: Project (Food Safety Outreach Program - FSOP)
State: NC

A recent survey of North Carolina county extension agents highlighted the need for increased food safety training among county agents who serve the state&s local food system. In addition, the surge in food entrepreneurial growth highlights the need for an accessible training program relevant to the needs of small food businesses (home processors and very small processors), to assist with understanding and compliance of complex local, state, and federal food safety requirements (FSMA). The overall goal of this collaborative education and training project is to leverage and strengthen partnerships among two institutions that make up the NC Cooperative Extension Program, NC A&T State and NC State Universities, to develop and deliver a food safety training program that increases the educational capacity across the state among county agents and small food businesses. Project objectives include the following outcomes: 1) a series of food safety webinars delivered in partnership with state and federal regulatory agencies; 2) in-person workshops that will cover food safety (FSMA) topics and supplemental information on state-specific regulations; 3) a repository of food safety education and implementation resources; and 4) evaluation tools to assess the project&s impact throughout the comprehensive and sequential approach to learning. The collaborative efforts of this project will strengthen partnerships among the NC Cooperative Extension Program to provide an established, long-term food safety educational platform that will help to support local food systems in NC that can be share across FSMA regional training centers.