Jenifer Buckley

PhD, Michigan State University

[photo]

Video and Further Information

Working with Your Food Safety Inspector
A Webinar for Michigan's Small Food Processors


Presented May 13, 2013, at Michigan State University

On This Page

Overview

Small-scale food processing is a growing trend in Michigan, and meeting food safety regulations is essential to operating a successful food processing business. This panel discussion brought together representatives of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and small Michigan processors.

Panelists:

  • Pearl Brown, Baker and Founder, Old Mission Multigrain, Traverse City, Mich.
  • Laurie Sorensen, Food Safety Inspector, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Sue Spagnuolo, Cheesemaker and Founder, Greenbush Farms and Dolce Vita Dairy, St. Johns, Mich.
  • Gordon Robinson, Dairy Supervisor, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Moderator: Jenifer Buckley, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University, Department of Community Sustainability

Video


Production by WKAR. Subsequent post-production editing used Handbrake and Camtasia for Mac.

Duration: 90 minutes

Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed within this video are solely those of the individual speaker. They do not necessarily reflect the views of other webinar participants or the views of the producers, funders, co-sponsors, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, or Michigan State University.

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Further Info on Webinar Discussion

This section provides more detail on some of the issues that are raised and the terms and abbreviations that are used during the webinar.

The section is organized thematically, not in the order that things are discussed.

"MDARD"
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
800-292-3939
http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/

MDARD's Food and Dairy Division

Webinar panelists talk about "Food" and "Dairy." What does this mean?

Food and dairy businesses are licensed and inspected by MDARD's Food and Dairy Division.

Dairy businesses are licensed and inspected by the Dairy Section. Other food businesses are licensed and inspected by the Food Section.

Licensing

Overview of Food and Dairy Licenses in Michigan

Many different types of licenses may apply to a business. MDARD's licensing decision tree can help clarify the licenses needed for specific types of food businesses: http://michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569-166988--,00.html

Food establishment licensing info: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569_16958_16974---,00.html

Dairy licensing info: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569_16958_16960---,00.html

Whom to Contact?

The place to start for both Food and Dairy:
MDARD's Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939

Regional map of Dairy Supervisors and Inspectors: www.msu.edu/~jbuckley/events/Dairy_regional_map_130301.pdf

To identify your Food Inspector, contact MDARD's Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939.

Licensing Seasonal Dairy Production

During the webinar, Sue Spagnuolo mentions that she produces cheese seasonally and is "turned off for the winter."

This means that in the fall, she stops milking her goats and making cheese. Her dairy inspector pulls her license and reinstates it when she starts again in the spring.

The inspector pulls the license because MDARD tests samples from dairy facilities every month. Sue would not be able to meet these testing requirements when she is not in production and has no samples to test.

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Laws

Panelists discuss specific laws and regulations related to food and dairy in Michigan and the federal Food Safety Modernization Act. There is also mention of organizations whose work relates to dairy standards and regulations.

Food Law

Michigan Food Law: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/FOOD_LAW_Eff_10-1-12_8-14-12_396680_7.pdf

Process Authority/Process Controller and
Low-Acid and Acidified Foods

Gordon Robinson and Laurie Sorensen refer to process authorities, or process controllers. A process authority is a person whom the FDA recognizes as an expert in processing foods that have low acidity.

High acidity minimizes the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. Foods that have low acid content are therefore considered potentially hazardous. Vegetables--and even tomatoes--tend to have low enough acidity to be considered potentially hazardous.

If processors make food products using vegetables or other ingredients that have low acidity, FDA requires extra steps to ensure food safety. Processors are required to take a process control class, and their process must be reviewed by a process authority. This is also the case for processors who increase the acidity of low-acid foods such as by adding vinegar.

Acidity is measured in terms of pH. There is an inverse relationship between acidity and pH. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity of the food.

Michigan's Cottage Food Law

An online webinar viewer asks about the Cottage Food Law. The Cottage Food Law is a section of Michigan Food Law. It was passed in 2010 to allow home processors who meet certain requirements to sell homemade foods without obtaining a license: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-50772_45851-240577--,00.html

Dairy Laws

Overview of Dairy Laws

  • Michigan's Grade A Milk Law
  • Michigan's Manufacturing Milk Law
  • The FDA's Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO)

Dairy products in Michigan are either Grade A or Manufacturing Grade.

Grade A requirements are stricter than Manufacturing Grade requirements.

Michigan adopts the FDA's Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) as its Grade A Milk law.
Michigan's Grade A Milk Law also includes all the provisions for licensing, producer security, administrative fines and enforcement, and anything else that is Michigan specific. (Thanks to Gordon for providing this additional information after the webinar.)

Dairy Laws: Grade A

Michigan's Grade A Milk Law is a set of sanitary standards for minimally processed dairy products:

  • fluid milk
  • yogurt
  • sour cream
  • cottage cheese

Summary of Requirements for Michigan Dairy Processing Plants: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mda/MilkProducersProcessorGuide_215087_7.pdf

Full text of Michigan's Grade A Milk Law: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mda/MDA_2001PA266Complete_251568_7.pdf

Dairy Laws: Manufacturing Grade

Michigan's Manufacturing Milk Law is a set of sanitary standards for:

  • ice cream
  • butter
  • cheese
  • dried milk products

Full text of the Manufacturing Milk Law: www.msu.edu/~jbuckley/mcl-Act-267-of-2001.pdf

Dairy Laws: The Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO)

The PMO is the FDA's sanitary regulation for dairy products that are sold interstate:

  • fluid milk
  • yogurt
  • sour cream
  • cottage cheese

Michigan adopts the PMO as its Grade A Milk law.

For example, Gordon Robinson refers to Appendix N of the PMO. So does Sue Spagnuolo when she mentions her lab. Appendix N requires that milk and milk products be tested for antibiotic drug residues. Like some cheesemakers, Sue conducts her own antibiotic tests. She has licensed a small area of her facility as a laboratory and has been trained to conduct these tests.

Full text of the PMO: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM209789.pdf

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Other Information Related to Regulations

The Federal Food Safety Modernization Act

This is the federal-level reform of food safety laws that was passed in 2011: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/default.htm

As mentioned during the webinar, the act is not yet in effect. The public comment period has been extended until September 16, 2013: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm261689.htm

3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc.

Gordon Robinson mentions the 3-A Committee. 3-A SSI is a non-profit organization that sets sanitary standards for equipment design for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries.

National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments

Gordon also mentions NCIMS, or the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments. This is a non-profit organization made up of regulators, dairy industry representatives, academics, and others involved in the dairy industry. Its conference is held every other year.

Information About Processors and Processing

Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA)

Sue Spagnuolo mentions the Michigan Farmers Market Association: http://mifma.org/

Michigan State University Product Center

Sue mentions the help that she received through MSU's Product Center. The Product Center provides assistance to Michigan's food and agriculture entrepreneurs: http://productcenter.msu.edu/

Farmstead Cheese

Sue is a farmstead cheesemaker. This means that she makes cheese using milk only from her own animals. She does not buy milk from other farmers.

Cheesemaking Course at Michigan State University

Sue also mentions Michigan State University's cheesemaking course. Dr. John Partridge (partridge@msu.edu) teaches the course each year in March during Agriculture and Natural Resources Week (ANR Week). This article describes the course that was offered in March 2013: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/popular_cheesemaking_workshop_slated_for_march_2013

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Thank You

Participation and Support

The panelists: Pearl Brown, Gordon Robinson, Laurie Sorensen, and Sue Spagnuolo

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) Food & Dairy Division

The processors and inspectors who participated in the research that initiated this discussion

Webinar Funding

USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program1

Based on Research Funded By

USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program1
National Science Foundation2
W.K. Kellogg Foundation3

Co-Sponsors

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems
Michigan State University Extension
Marquette Food Co-op
Michigan Food & Farming Systems
Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference
Organic Processing Institute (Middleton, Wis.)
Upper Peninsula Food Exchange

Studio and Online Assistance

Anna Popp
Mat Lautenberger

Production

Thank you to WKAR for assistance with this program


1This project and all associated reports and support materials are supported by the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food & Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), under Project Number GNC10-134. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
2This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-1230878. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
3This work was supported by funds from a grant to Michigan State University from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to establish a pasture-based dairy program at the Kellogg Biological Station.


Contact
cell 608/421-2386, jbuckley@msu.edu

December 17, 2013