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School Nutrition Association Conference, June 20, 2013

School Nutrition Association Conference, June 20, 2013

Greensboro, NC


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Food Safety Training addressing GAPs in Raleigh

Today every farm, large or small, needs to have a smart plan for ensuring food safety. “Good Agricultural Practices” or “GAP” certification is one way to put a plan in place. It has the added bonus of opening doors to markets that require GAP. But will GAP work in the small farm context? The answer increasingly is — yes!

This training will address how local farmers can achieve USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) certification (USDA GAP checklist), provide information on risks behind specific GAPs requirements, and outline logistics for preparing and scheduling a GAPs audit. The USDA GAPs certification program is an independent audit of produce suppliers that focuses on best agricultural practices to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.

Please email csmitchell@wakegov.com to register on a First Come First Serve basis while there still is space available.


Wake County
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
NC Cooperative Extension, Wake County Office
4001-E Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610-2914
Auditorium Rm 107
Contact: Carol Mitchell, 919-250-1094, csmitchell@wakegov.com

Presenters: Audrey Kreske, PhD and Katie Baros, MS

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Collaborate Session: Adoption of FDA Model Food Code in NC

Below are supplemental material for the November 20, 2012 Collaborate session detailing changes and effective dates for new retail food service regulations in North Carolina.

Summary of changes PowerPoint file from Collaborate

Inspection report marking scheme

Sample inspection report


Food Code Manual

Screen shot 2012-12-07 at 6.27.43 PM

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Good Agricultural Pracitces (GAP) workshops for Small Farm Operators

Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Greenville, SC, October 26-28

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, To learn more information, please visit the conference website.

GAP Certification for the Small Farm

Friday October 26th, Pre-Conference Intensive

9:00 am to 12:00 pm
NCSU Presenters: Ben Chapman, PhD, Audrey Kreske PhD, and Chris Gunter, PhD

Today every farm, large or small, needs to have a smart plan for ensuring food safety.  “Good Agricultural Practices” or “GAP” certification is one way to put a plan in place.  It has the added bonus of opening doors to markets that require GAP.  But will GAP work in the small farm context?  The answer increasingly is — yes!  Come join top experts from NCSU who have been studying the best ways for small operators to take advantage of GAP.  They will lead you step-by-step through the process.  Ben and Audrey have years of experience in food safety in the farm-to-fork path and are excited to share their knowledge with you.  You will come away with a new confidence to tackle the GAP.

Farm Business, Food Safety on the Farm

Saturday October 27th

8:30 am to 10:00 pm
NCSU Presenters: Audrey Kreske PhD and Chris Gunter, PhD

2012 Southeast Strawberry Expo, Charlotte, NC, November 7-10

NC Strawberry Association

To learn more information, please visit the conference website.

Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 7

On-Farm Workshop 2 pm -4:30 pm

Presenters: Audrey Kreske PhD, Diane Ducharme, GAPs Program Coordinator, and Katie Baros, Extension Produce Safety Assistant

A Critical Eye, Food Safety Risk Investigation: a hands-on approach to identifying food safety risks and GAPs audits

Learn how to identify hazards and risks – and learn some insight into what GAPs auditors look for.  This hands-on workshop will take place at a nearby farm. Participants will be taught how outbreaks happen, and be shown techniques to evaluate risks  and discuss management options. For those who wish to obtain GAPs certification to help open new markets, the workshop will also help prepare for an audit. Clipboards and sharp pencils provided…

Small Farms GAP workshop I – Pender County

Monday, November 19, 2012 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Pender County Cooperative Extension Office
801 S. Walker St.
Burgaw, NC 28425

Small Farms GAP workshop II – Richmond County

Friday, November 30, 2012 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Ag Services Center
123 Caroline Street
Rockingham, NC
Richmond County

Small Farms GAP workshop III – Buncombe County

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 1:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759

Small Farms GAP workshop IV – Chatham County

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Chatham County Agriculture Building Auditorium
45 South Street Pittsboro, NC 27312

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International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting, July 24, 2012

Exploring temperature patterns of leafy greens in institutional kitchens

 Ellen M. Thomas and Benjamin Chapman

Introduction: Leafy greens have been linked to over 40 outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1990. As potential pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 can grow on or in cut leafy greens at temperatures above 5°C, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that leafy greens be kept at refrigerated temperatures (5°C or lower).

Purpose: There is a lack of research in determining the temperature profile of leafy greens within a food service establishment, especially the variation in temperatures through storage, preparation, serving, restorage, and reservice. The purpose of this study was to determine the temperature profiles and patterns that leafy greens in single serving clamshell containers were exposed to through a typical school meal program.

Methods: Temperatures of ready-to-eat leafy greens (whole head and cut/shredded) were recorded using data loggers, infrared and probe thermocouples in 20 schools over a 3-day period. Temperatures were taken by stabbing the probe into the leafy green, or through a thermocouple in the case of the data loggers; temperatures were taken in storage coolers, on the line, and in the prep cooler.

Results: Data showed that temperatures of leafy greens in clamshell containers reached above 5°C for more than 3 hours throughout the process as high as 8°C. Various temperature patterns were seen, including temperatures rising above 5°C for at least one hour up to 3 consecutive days. Leafy greens were shown in all cases to be exposed to temperature variability.

Significance: The results show the importance of developing a standard for thermometer use and temperature monitoring of leafy greens in school kitchens to avoid the potential for harmful pathogen growth. This data can be used both in risk assessment calculations and as an example to show food handlers the importance of a strict temperature verification regime.


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International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting, July 23, 2012

Cross-Contamination Risks in Reusable Grocery Shopping Bags and Potential Risks to Patrons: A Model Applied to Leafy Greens E. coli O157:H7

Allison Smathers, Benjamin Chapman, and Trevor Phister

Reusable polypropylene-grocery shopping bags have increased in popularity as a method to reduce environmental impact of plastic one-use bags. In 2010, researchers found eight percent of used-reusable bags tested were positive for Escherichia coli (E. coli). It is important to better understand the potential reusable bags pose in cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens. First, this study focused on patron use of reusable grocery bags.  Second, this study considered the potential of pathogen transfer from contaminated leafy greens to a reusable bag and survival on a reusable bag. In order to explore practices carried out by patrons with their reusable bags, 107 patrons participated in a convenience sample.  Leafy greens were inoculated with 105 CFU/ml tetracycline and chloramphenicol resistant E. coli O157:H7. Inoculated and non-inoculated leafy greens were placed in reusable bags (21 bags per treatment) and 30-minute transport was simulated using a large sample mixer. The microbial load of the reusable bags was measured and all bags were stored at 21°C. Three bags per treatment were tested on Day 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, and 14. Bags were sampled in five locations (10 x 10 cm), one on the bottom and four at varying levels on the side-panels of the bag, using wet swabs. Reusable bags were measured for aerobic plate count, coliform, and E. coli O157:H7. Two-hours after transport simulation and on Day 3, 103 CFU/ml tetracycline and chloramphenicol resistant E. coli O157:H7 was recovered. The microbial loads from Day 3 to Day 14 were minimal, 101 CFU/ml E. coli O157:H7 was consistently recovered. Counts were similar regardless of sampling location on the bag but were highest on the bottom location. Non-pathogenic microorganisms were recovered at low concentrations. It is important to consider potential pathogens available for transfer to reusable bags and further to food products that come in contact with contaminated bags. The data generated helps with the development of a better model for assessing microbial movement within reusable bags. The results of this study convey the potential for survival and cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens on reusable bags.



Allison Smathers, M.S.
Entrepreneurial Program Assistant
Department of Food, Bioprocessing, & Nutrition Sciences
North Carolina State University

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School Nutrition Association of North Carolina Annual Conference

More than 1000 child nutrition professionals from across North Carolina participated in training activities, competed in culinary arts contests and participated in training by the Child Nutrition Services Section of the Department of Public Instruction. The goal of the conference was to better equip Child Nutrition employees to meet the new guidelines in order to serve children upon returning to school in the fall. To learn more about the conference and the school nutrition association, please visit the website.

Foodborne Illness – No Laughing Matter, Thursday June 21, 2012

Presented by Ben Chapman and Audrey Kreske