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WCMA & CDR Announce Dates, Locations for Free FSMA Workshops

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research (CDR), today announced dates and locations for five upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) workshops.  The workshops are offered free of charge through the Artisan Dairy Producer Food Safety Initiative, launched last month with support from the United States Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“FSMA compliance deadlines are quickly approaching for many of Wisconsin’s dairy product manufacturers and processors,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director and Initiative Co-Director.  “Our program stands to help facility managers navigate regulatory language and develop plans that meet new federal expectations.”

Workshops will be held from 12 noon-4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17 at The Hotel Marshfield in Marshfield, Tuesday, February 14 at the Corporate Conference Center at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Thursday, February 16 at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Energy Education Center in Eau Claire, Tuesday, February 21 at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, and Thursday, February 23 at the Wisconsin Riverside Resort in Spring Green.

These training sessions, led by WCMA staff, the Center for Dairy Research’s Marianne Smukowski, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s Matt Mathison, and project Food Safety Educators Jim Mueller and Larry Bell, will explain how to create a FSMA-compliant facility plan and provide participants with materials to begin plan development.  Each workshop will cover identical material, and participants are asked to register for one session only.  Cheese manufacturers may enroll as many employees as they wish, but participants must pre-register.

Following workshops, the Initiative Food Safety Educators will visit up to 50 dairy product manufacturing or processing plants, to evaluate existing operations, review existing food safety plans, and complete the development of new FSMA-compliant plans.  Note the limited capacity; all dairy product manufacturers and processors who wish to participate in one-on-one consultations are urged to reserve their spot in the program now. For more information, contact WCMA’s Rebekah Sweeney at rsweeney@wischeesemakers.org or via telephone at 608-828-4550.