FSIS Offers “How To” Workshops for Small and Very Small Plants
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Hello and welcome to our podcast on FSIS’ “How To” Workshops for Small and Very Small
Plants. I’m Sheila Johnson. With me is Stephanie Wilkins, chief training officer for the
FSIS Center for Learning. She has almost 20 years experience in the field of organizational
development and training in the federal government.
Today, Stephanie will give us a little insight about some very helpful workshops that
her office is arranging for owners and operators of small and very small plants.
Stephanie, can you tell us more about these workshops?
Sure, Sheila. Since the announcement of the Agency’s Small and Very Small Plant initiative
in 2006, our regional trainers have been very busy conducting regulatory educational seminars.
These workshops have provided owners, operators and managers of small and very small plants
information to enhance the design and implementation of their food safety systems.
And what types of workshops have you offered?
We’ve offered seminars that cover topics such as FSIS’ Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures,
HACCP, rules of practice, food defense strategies, E. coli O157:H7 and Agency
Notices 65-07, 66-07 and 68-07, to name a few.
Wow, I’d say these “few” topics alone have kept you very busy!
You could say that! (Chuckling)
Now Stephanie, what about these “How To” Workshops that I mentioned in the beginning?
Tell us more about these.
Well, in January 2009, we’re going to start a series of “How To” workshops to provide
small plants the practical tools and methods for proper application and compliance. We’ve
structured these workshops and their content delivery based on feedback that we received
And what kinds of topics will you be offering to small plants, and when?
We’re starting off our first series on the subject of “Developing Food Defense Plans”
on January 9, 2009. Then we’ll have a series on “Effective Sanitation” practices on January
12th. On January 13th, “Conducting Product Recalls” will start.
A series on “Complying with Regulations on SRMs” starts on January 24th. “Humane Handling
of Livestock” begins on January 20th and a series on “Controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter
in Poultry Plants” kicks off on January 30th.
Your team is certainly wasting no time to kick off the new year!
We’re very much looking forward to getting these workshops rolling. Our trainers enjoy
interacting with the small plant personnel at these workshops and they provide an opportune
time for constructive dialogue
That certainly helps your staff, doesn’t it?
It sure does. Not only does the Agency get to provide the information and tools they need
in informal meetings, but we also receive feedback from them on what would be helpful
to them in the future.
Stephanie, you provided a list of six different series of “How To” workshops. Where will
these be held?
They’ll be held at various locations throughout the country. Since I rattled off quite
a few topics and dates, probably the best thing I can recommend to our listeners is for
them to visit our Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov.
Click on the link “Small/Very Small Plants” found under “Browse By Audience” on the left
side of the page. Once this pulls up, you’ll see the link for “Outreach Workshop Sessions.”
That will have a listing of the workshops, dates and location.
If all else fails, you can simply call our office at (866) 336-3747.
Thank you very much, Stephanie, for coming by today and discussing these workshops. These
should be very helpful to small plants. And thanks to all of you for tuning in today.
Well, that’s all for this episode. We’d like your feedback on our podcast. Or if you
have ideas for future podcasts, send us an e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more
about food safety, try our web site at www.fsis.usda.gov.
Thanks for tuning in.