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Alaska Food Protection Task Force Meeting Minutes

In Attendance

Bob Gerlach (DEC/OSV), Robbi Mixon (AFPC/AFMA), Bobbie McDonald (DEC/FSS), Darcy Harris (MOA), Dena Cologgi (DEC/FSS), Sarah Lewis (CES),  Jeremy Ayers (DEC/FSS), Shannon Miller (DEC/EH), Lorinda Lhotka (DEC/FSS), Julie Cascio (CES), Ytamar Rodriguez (DEC/FSS), Virginia Ng (SPA), Melissa Chlupach (UAA), Nathan Bruns (DEC/FSS)

Program Updates - Lorinda Lhotka

  • Speaker Canceled – Alexis – Alaska Small Business Development Center, Fairbanks
  • FSS Program Updates - Lorinda Lhotka, Section Manager
  • Staffing changes
  • Anchorage office – New EHO ANC Ilona Singh, New EHO Dutch Harbor Erica Aus, New EHO Madi McDonnell - Ketchikan.
  • 18 AAC 31 Alaska Food Code- Public comment period closed (was open 11/119 to 1/10/20). No public comments received.
    • Moving into the adoption phase, possibly in place by the end of spring.
    • Deals with preventative controls and best practices for manufactured food. Also, it encompasses, more info for recall plans, reduced oxygen packaging, and bottled water.
    • The update will bring closer to FDA rules.
    • Next update to Code to focus on retail (currently based on FDA 2005).

Member Updates

Darcy Harris, Program Manager, MOA/EH

  • Business as usual.
  • Starting a handwashing campaign.
  • Updating language access for information and postings into 8 most common languages in Municipality.
  • Work completed by a 3rd party for in house printing and website posting.

State Section of Epidemiology- Anne Frick

  • 1 case occurred at a “potluck” involving BBQ and side dishes that were brought. Seems like most people who got sick ate the BBQ.  Stool samples have been sent to FDA lab, awaiting results.
  • 1 case Botulism in AK from canned salmon that wasn’t prepared correctly. Pressure cooking was not used.  Hot water is not effective for eliminating the spores.  Need high pressure as well.
  • Sustainable Agriculture (SARE) conference 2/21 and 2/22 in Anchorage at the BP Energy Center.

Dena Cologgi and Dr. Bob Gerlach- Office of the State Veterinarian/Produce Safety Program

  • Produce – Attending NASDA consortium meeting
  • Grower training
  • Southeast AK Gardeners Conference
  • Farmers Market Conference
  • Continuing inspections on small farms
  • Inspections are mandatory and acting on behalf of the FDA
  • Last year inspected large farms making over $500,000
  • This year working on farms $250,000 to $500,000
  • Next year inspecting farms less than $250,000

 Julie Cascio and Sarah Lewis - Alaska Cooperative Extension

  • Food Protection Manager classes coming up in February. The next class will be offered at the beginning of April.
  • They let DEC in SE AK know when and where they are administering tests.
  • Librarians and school secretaries can administer the test if they sign up.

 Farmers Market – Robbi Mixon

  • April 2-4 Farmers Market Conference
  • Planning 11/6-7/20 conference at UAA for FPC

Brian Himelbloom (UAF Kodiak Seafood Marine Science Center (retired))

  • School for Better Practices
  • Seafood HACCP class
  • Preventative control class (possibility at the conference)

Conference Update- Lorinda Lhotka

  • 1st day – Small Food Manufacture – Food Safety
  • Food labeling – Maggie Fu - FDA
  • Agenda topics – cleaning and sanitizing, recalls, possibly a mock recall
  • 2nd day – Food Business Entrepreneurs
  • Hoping for 75 attendees. Considering BP Energy and AK Housing Authority as venues.
  • Other possible venues: APU or UAA (professor sponsored)
  • Focus this year is manufactured food. Next year focus on retail.
  • Ideas for the conference: breakout sessions (chemicals, lab testing, lab equipment), Preventive Controls, process, sanitation, and allergens.
  • Potential Speakers – Chris & Brian (Kodiak), Claudia, Co-op extension, Dena (Produce Safety)

Next Meeting

Next meeting would be in April. If we have the conference in April, this meeting would be canceled.

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