Training Programs All Food Safety and Food Processing Trainings
COVID-19 Resources for the Washington Produce Industry

COVID-19 Resources for the Washington Produce Industry

Published on
If you’re part of the Washington Produce Industry, please use this resource to find pertinent information for how to prepare your farm or business for…

Food Microbiology 101 for Fresh Produce Packers


Many people involved with managing food quality and safety have not been exposed to traditional education in food microbiology. This 2.5 day course will seek to provide foundational information as it relates to microbiology of fresh fruits and vegetables. Topics will cover an introduction to food microbiology, culturing microorganisms from food and the environment, and mechanisms to control and inactivate microorganisms in fresh produce.  A special focus will be placed on providing information for foodborne pathogens. There will be afternoon sessions where participants will have the opportunity to learn different approaches for culturing bacteria.  Participants will leave this course better equipped to engage in food safety and quality discussions. An increased understanding of microbiological methodologies and their limitations will also help packers interpret results and evaluate new technologies.

Who should attend?

Individuals who are working or managing fresh fruit and vegetable packinghouses, especially those with food safety, quality assurance, or compliance roles.

Cost to Attend

Total cost is $100.  Funding from the WSDA grant greatly reduced the cost of training.

Includes materials, certificate, lunches and refreshments.


Dr. Faith Critzer: Produce Safety Extension Specialist and an Associate Professor at Washington State University

Dr. P. Michael Davidson: University of Tennessee Institute Professor Emeritus

Dates & Location

March 10-12, 2020
WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center
Room: Hamilton Hall
24106 N Bunn Rd
Prosser, WA 99350

Registration is now closed.


Cancellations will be accepted until 10 days to the course, and the registration fee, less the cancellation fee $20 will be refunded. After that time, no refunds will be made for cancellations.


Substitutions are accepted at any time.  Please email Cathy Blood,


Payments must be made prior to the start of the training.  Check payments must be sent to our office before the start of the training:
Washington State University
Attn: Cathy Blood
PO Box 646376
Pullman, WA 99164-6376

We accept Visa and Mastercard when paying online.


DAY 1  
Time Topic
8:00-8:30 Registration
8:30-9:00 Welcome and Introductions
9:00-10:00 Introduction to Food Microbiology
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:00 Introduction to Food Microbiology
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Culturing microorganisms from produce and the environment
2:00-5:00 Hands-on lab


DAY 2  
Time Topic
9:00-10:00 Intrinsic properties that impact microbial growth and survival
10:00-11:00 Extrinsic properties that impact microbial growth and survival
11:00-12:00 Postharvest handling practices to inactivate or inhibit target organisms
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Postharvest handling practices (cont’d)
2:00-5:00 Hands-on lab


DAY 3  
Time Topic
9:00-9:45 Know where to go- factual information for food safety
9:45-11:30 Hands-on lab
11:30-12:00 Course evaluation and certificates

Additional Information

For questions related to registering for the course, please contact:
Cathy Blood, Events Coordinator,, 509-335-2845

For any other questions, please contact:
Faith Critzer, Produce Safety Extension Specialist,, 509-786-9203