The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is keeping high-quality dairy products and food safety its top priority and has created the Dairy Food Safety Alliance in partnership with the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) as a means to deliver the latest in food safety news to dairy product manufacturers, processors, and suppliers.
“New regulations and the recent uptick in food recalls have cheesemakers devoting more time and resources than ever to food safety efforts,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “Our organization’s aim to provide the support members need not only to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, but also to maintain and enhance the industry’s reputation for quality.”
The Dairy Food Safety Alliance was formed in response to the Artisan Dairy Producer Food Safety Initiative—directed by CDR and WCMA with support from DFW and funded by a USDA-NIFA grant—and participating companies’ request for ongoing education opportunities and policy updates after receiving training and on-site consultations through the Initiative.
“Wisconsin dairy manufacturers are leading the charge on FSMA, thanks in part to the wealth of training that’s available to them via our organizations,” said Marianne Smukowski, CDR Outreach Program Manager. “Over the past two years, we’ve helped dozens of cheesemakers develop and implement their FSMA plans, and we’re here to support them through inspections and regulatory changes, too.”
Adam Brock, DFW Director of Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory Compliance, added, “Food safety best practices should be no secret, and collaboration among organizations is critical to ensure food safety throughout the supply-chain."
The first Dairy Food Safety Alliance meeting is October 8, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin, and will feature speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer protection; and respected leaders in the field of food safety and quality assurance, according to a press release. Meetings are slated to occur twice annually. Participation in the Dairy Food Safety Alliance is open to all dairy manufacturers, processors, and related suppliers, regardless of membership with WCMA.
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