FREE until December 31, 2017 !
We sell supplies here at New England Cheese Making Supply Co. (not cheese), but when I received an e-mail about a free food safety course, I decided to take it. It’s a $140 value, being offered free (to anyone who wants to take it) until December 31, 2017. I knew it would be up-to-date, because it’s brand new, having been released in July, 2017.
I have never taken a food safety course, so I have no basis for comparison, but I can say this- if you are a home cheese maker, thinking about selling your cheese, it would be a good idea for you to take this course first. Food safety is probably the most important issue for your future business. You might even want to design your facility with this in mind.
The most valuable attribute of this kind of online course is convenience. You don’t have to fly to a university in another state to take it. You can also take your time with it, going back to it whenever you want, because it remembers where you left off. And, of course, it’s free for this limited time, so why not?
The course was funded by The Innovation Center for US Dairy which is trying to focus on the needs of small, artisan cheese makers who don’t have as much access to these kinds of courses as the bigger businesses. On their website, there is a lot of information for artisan cheese makers, including the current regulations from the FDA – (click here).
It was developed by a collaboration of experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Connecticut, Cornell University, and North Carolina State University and it is made available to the public through the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. This department offers other certificates as well in the food safety realm (click here).
I found it to be visually appealing (beautiful pictures), and very easy to understand. There are frequent “Knowledge Checks” which are interactive, so that breaks up the lessons. At the end of every section, there is a quiz. (I actually failed one of the quizzes, but I had the opportunity to take it again after seeing the correct answers.)
There are 5 sections:
(1) Importance of Food Safety
(2) Regulations and Standards
(3) Food Safety Hazards
(4) Good Manufacturing Practices and Process Controls
(5) Environmental Pathogen Monitoring and Testing
The only section I had a hard time with was the third, because there are 4 pathogens with different properties and I couldn’t remember which was which (I’m 65, so I can’t remember a lot!). I recommend taking notes in that section and that will help you with the quiz (the one I initially failed).
To take the course – Click Here
Use code: INTRO-FREE
More food safety resources – https://www.usdairy.com/science-and-research/food-safety/artisan-and-farmstead