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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Hosts Certification Course for Food Processors

LAS CRUCES - Food processors can be certified to produce low-acid food products such as salsa and canned vegetables at a school sponsored by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service Feb. 11-14 in Las Cruces. The "Better Process Control School" is required by the Food and Drug Administration for acidified product processors.

"This school will teach food processors how to ensure the safety of their food products," said Nancy Flores, Extension food technology specialist. "We'll also be talking about aseptic packaging and closures for glass and other types of containers."

The school will be held at Corbett Center on the main NMSU campus. The 4-day course follows an FDA-approved curriculum and examination procedure. "It's a very intensive program because the participants are required to take exams after each section," Flores said.

Each exam will include 10 to 40 questions. A minimum score of 70 is required to pass. Course topics include botulism, microbiology of thermally processed foods, food plant sanitation and food container handling.

Flores will teach the program with Ralph Price, professor at the University of Arizona; Cecelia Garcia, director of the Johnson Controls Commercial Kitchen; and Fadi Aramouni, professor at Kansas State University.

The cost for the school is $440 and includes the course text. Registration deadline is Feb. 11. For information, call Flores at (505) 646-1179. If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the school, please contact Flores in advance.