Michigan Dairy Industry Leaders Emphasize Food Safety, Collaboration at Dairy Plant Food Safety Workshop

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) and Continental Dairy Facilities, LLC hosted 57 food safety professionals from around North America at a dairy plant food safety workshop on October 13-14 in Coopersville, Michigan.

The workshop—designed by the International Dairy Foods Association and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy— emphasizes the importance of strengthening manufacturing practices in all dairy processing facilities to diminish food safety risk and protect the reputation of the dairy industry. The joint sponsorship of the workshop training showcased the theme of collaboration among dairy food processors emphasized during the event.

“We believe food safety is not a trade secret and we openly share our best practices for the good of the dairy industry. This food safety workshop is the right forum for companies like MMPA to share our expertise and to build cooperation among industry leaders,” MMPA General Manager Joe Diglio stated. “It takes a collaborative effort from everyone along the food chain to provide safe, quality food product to our customers and consumers. The commitment to food safety will only continue to grow going forward.”

“From our standpoint, quality starts with our producers’ high quality milk and continues into our plant. We have been committed to food safety from the beginning. In our industry, it’s all about working together, especially when developing food safety,” Steve Cooper, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Continental Dairy Facilities also said.

Industry experts taught the participants procedures related to achieving and maintaining superior food safety standards in their processing plant. The training—one of over 20 workshops held nationwide—involved handson activities related to food safety in dairy plants, with a special emphasis on dry powder. By combining the expertise of food safety professionals from dairy cooperatives and manufacturers, plant employees in attendance learned techniques to improve plant standards and foster a culture of food safety at their companies. MMPA Director of Quality Amandeep Dhillon and Continental Dairy Facilities Director of Food Safety Ronald Thompson were among the team of trainers facilitating the workshop.

MMPA—established in 1916—is a member owned and controlled dairy cooperative and dairy ingredient processor serving approximately 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. MMPA currently operates two dairy processing plants in Michigan.

Continental Dairy Facilities, LLC is a Michigan dairy processing plant in partnership with Select Milk Producers, a cooperative made up of dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and New Mexico.