The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS), a University of Vermont Extension program, has published a new webpage that features a food safety toolkit for food processors. The toolkit is tailored to small and very small processors that are required to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule (PCHF) under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The toolkit is a resource collection that is intended to help processors prepare for PCHF through Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and includes authoritative, comprehensive, and actionable resources for processors to learn about and comply with federal regulation. The Processors’ Food Safety Toolkit is a curated educational experience that is topically organized and designed for those who may not have a complete understanding of preventive controls.

The toolkit was developed after NECAFS identified the need to create a “one-stop shop” for food safety that guides processors through the process of understanding PCHF. Beginning in 2018, academics and industry collaborated to develop the website, source materials, and catalog over 200 resources. A pilot test of 20 small and very small processors found that 100 percent of participants would use the site and recommend it to their peers.

NECAFS is one of four Regional Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is hosted by the University of Vermont Extension and is led jointly with co-directors from Cornell University, University of Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania State University in partnership with stakeholders from the Northeast Region. USDA Regional Centers are tasked with coordinating training, education, and outreach related to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and the FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Foods Rule.