West Virginia ag department plans food safety classes for producers

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) will sponsor a variety of food safety classes in conjunction with the West Virginia Small Farm Conference, to be held Feb. 25-27 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Class information

The Better Process Control School will kick off ahead of the conference Feb. 24. The two-day class starts at 8 a.m. in room 202 and is aimed at producers who make specialty products that are in jars or cans.

Cost is $150 for West Virginia residents and $250 for out-of-state residents. Lunch is not included either day, but restaurants are within walking distance of the Civic Center.

Contact Teresa Halloran at 304-558-2210 or thalloran@wvda.us for more information.

Handling food class

The one-day Good Handling Practices/Good Agricultural Practices (GHP/GAP) class will also be held Feb. 24. It starts at 8:30 a.m. in room 203 and is an introduction to farmers on how to harvest, clean and store fresh produce in a safe manner. The course is also the first step in a voluntary audit program required by larger wholesalers and retailers of their food vendors.

Cost is $40 and includes materials and lunch.

Food investigation

For the first time, the WVDA-sponsored slate of classes will feature Food Safety Investigation instructor training. This train-the-trainer course is aimed at agriculture and science teachers, Extension agents or others.

It will be held in Parlor B starting at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 25. The $35 cost includes lunch. Deadline for registration is Feb. 19 and space is limited.

Visit www.smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/events/conference for more information and an online registration link.

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