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NMSU to present workshop in Socorro, Truth or Consequences on starting food business

Thinking about opening a commercial food processing company, but not sure about the food safety regulations? New Mexico State University has the answers to many of your questions.

NMSU will present two workshops on starting a food business: from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at the Socorro County Extension Office, 198 Neel Avenue NW in Socorro; and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the Sierra County Event Center, 2953 S. Broadway in Truth or Consequences.

The free workshops are provided through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant. Due to limited space at each location, only 25 participants will be allowed.

"The workshops are targeting farmers' market vendors and small scale food processors that are starting their company," said Michael Patrick, NMSU Extension economic development specialist. "The participants will gain an understanding of regulations concerning commercial food processing; the process to market food products; and the challenges of a food business; as well as how to use a business plan as a management tool."

Nancy Flores, NMSU Extension food safety specialist, will discuss the various aspects of food safety regulations.

"The regulations are complicated and can limit what kind of operation a person may have in mind for a food business," Flores said. "Food safety is always a major concern and keeping things simple will allow for a safe, economical and profitable food business."

Topics will include food safe soup and microbiology, Federal Drug Administration produce rule and preventative controls rule; getting Gramma's recipe to market; and product evaluation and labeling, navigating the permitting process.

For more information for the Socorro workshop, contact Jessica Smith at 575-835-0610 or socorro@nmsu.edu. For the Truth or Consequences workshop, contact Dee Wear at 575-894-2375 or sierra@nmsu.edu.