AIB International has introduced two new food safety-oriented products: a distance learning course on food safety and sanitation, and an "Inspection Only" offering that measures the food safety conditions and practices within a food operation. The distance learning course debuted March 24, and Inspection Only became available earlier this year.

The new Food Safety/Sanitation Distance Learning Course is "a major renovation" to AIB's popular Food Processing Sanitation/Hygiene Correspondence Course, according to AIB officials. Existing chapters were updated to align with new regulatory requirements, industry trends, and best practices and 12 new chapters were added to make it a more comprehensive learning tool. In addition to the course materials and exams, reference cards and applied workshops were added to assess the learners’ ability to directly apply the course content back to their jobs.

The Inspection Only program provides an inspection without documentation review that is geared to companies that are new to AIB audits, especially those in developing markets. However, "Inspection Only" may also be useful to companies "that have advanced food safety systems in place and have elected to maintain GFSI certification, but need a detailed inspection to complement it,” said Stephanie Lopez, vice president for Food Safety Services Innovation.

Both of the new offerings are products of AIB International's newly created Food Safety Services Innovation group, led by Lopez and comprised of five full-time Innovation managers from around the world, as well as a small group of.staff researchers and project managers. The Innovation group's global approach reflects its aims: to support multi-national food and beverage companies around the globe and to assist the commercial food and beverage industry in developing markets, Lopez said.

“The Innovation group is busy working to bring the global food industry the services they need and expect from AIB. We have many more offerings related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) coming soon, including a focus on bringing FSMA education to foreign countries who export to the United States,” Lopez said. “We are also expanding our microbiological consulting services to include environmental monitoring and kill step validation and are increasing our focus on helping the animal feed category meet regulatory requirements.”