ASTA Webinar Series on Microbiology of Spices

Microbiological Testing for Food Quality

Microbiology of Spices is a four part series now available for companies to supplement employee training on Salmonella and other pathogens. Participants in the original live series recommend it for your employees in purchasing, product development and processing to gain a better understanding of why spices can be contaminated with pathogens such as Salmonella, the challenges of testing, mitigation strategies and the importance of verification and validation.   The series features Dr. James Dickson of Iowa State University who provides scientific information for those without a science background.

All employees in the spice industry have a role in food safety…this series will ensure a better understanding of the importance of strategies to ensure clean, safe spice.

Part I/II –  Intro to Microbiology of Spices is two 45 minute sessions designed to give the non-microbiologists in your company an overview of FDA’s concerns, a broad understanding of potential points of contamination, key concepts in microbiology and how problems can be controlled or reduced. These sessions will also feature basics in testing and the role testing plays in risk management as well as the importance of process validation and verification…all with an eye toward complying with the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Part III –  Effective Methods to Control Microbes in Spices is a 45 minute session that will provide an overview of existing microbial reduction technologies, including advantages and disadvantages of each. Participants will also learn the expectations that FDA has for process validation and look at key issues in the supply chain, including critical control points.

Part IV – The Role of Testing is the final 45 minute session which will focus on the role of testing in microbiological control. Participants will learn about key tests and when to use them and gain an understanding of sampling protocols. This session will also provide an explanation of variations in standard methodology and provide a perspective on microbiological specifications in other countries.

To purchase the series, which can be shown at your convenience…

Download Order Form


About the Speaker:

James S. Dickson (Jim), Professor
Iowa State University
Department of Animal Science, Inter-Departmental Program in Microbiology
Dr. Dickson is currently a Professor in the Department of Animal Science and the Inter-Departmental Program in Microbiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Dickson’s research focuses on the control of bacteria of public health significance in foods of animal origin. Prior to his appointment at Iowa State University in 1993, he was employed by USDA-ARS as a Research Food Technologist and lead scientist of the Meat Safety Assurance Program, located at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE. Dr. Dickson was employed in the food industry for three years before joining USDA-ARS.

He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection. He is also active in the American Society for Microbiology and the Institute of Food Technologists. On behalf of ASTA, Dr. Dickson conducted a scientific review of the FDA’s Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens and Filth in Spices and presented his perspective at the 2014 ASTA Annual Meeting.