Food Safety Certification Workshop Scheduled for May 3 in Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS, MD– To help farmers meet growing consumer demand for local meats, the Maryland Department of Agriculture will conduct a food safety training workshop for on-farm poultry and rabbit slaughter and processing. This workshop is part of a voluntary certification program to assist small poultry and rabbit operations in meeting the Maryland Department of Health’s approved source requirements to sell poultry and/or rabbit (off-farm) at farmers markets or to restaurants and retailers in Maryland.

Workshop participants will learn to recognize diseases of public health concern, take basic biosecurity measures, write and implement basic Standard Sanitary Operating Procedures, develop Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plans, and properly dispose of offal and waste water.

To become certified for off-farm sales, producers must:

  • complete the training;
  • pass a brief test at the training;
  • submit an application for certification along with a $75 annual fee; and
  • be inspected by the department;
    • Inspections are conducted at least once per year to verify that producers are following food safety requirements.

The training will be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in the lower level conference room at department headquarters, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis. Registration is required. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. The training fee is $20 which includes lunch and materials. Registration form isavailable online. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register early.

For questions, call Carol Reynolds at 410-841-5769 or email:carol.reynolds@maryland.gov. To learn more about Maryland’s Poultry and Rabbit Program, visit the program’swebsite.