New grant for Dr. DiCaprio will help small-scale fruit & vegetable processors

image of canned fruit
Zann Gates

FST's Dr. Erin DiCaprio, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in Community Food Safety, has been awarded a National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant to assist small-scale fruit and vegetable processors to be in compliance with food safety regulations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act.  The grant will fund new low-to-no-cost online education and in-person workshops which will be offered in both English and Spanish by the team of collaborators, which also includes Cal-Poly Pomona, Purdue, and the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. 

Says DiCaprio, "“Developing and implementing required food-safety plans can be very challenging, especially for small food businesses, including processors and fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers.  Many of these producers have limited resources, some with only one or two full-time employees, and do not have the capacity to hire dedicated food quality assurance or food safety staff.  Additionally, food safety training can be expensive and may require taking time off work, both of which many of these small businesses cannot afford.”

For more details on the grant and the scope of the small-scale food business in California, see John Stumbo's writeup in CAES News.