Understanding the Food Safety Needs of Small and Very Small Processors in the Northeast United States: Food Safety Communicator and Regulator Perspectives

Annie S. Fitzgerald, Andrea Gilbert-Eckman, Elizabeth M. Demmings, Jill Fitzsimmons, Amanda J. Kinchla, Nicole Richard, Dave Seddon, Luke F. Laborde, Elizabeth Newbold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A needs assessment was conducted by the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS) to articulate challenges that small and very small (SVS) food processors face and to identify strategies based on those needs for increasing compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF) Rule. Food safety communicators (educators, consultants, and individuals in allied industries) and regulators in the NECAFS network states were surveyed to determine their perceptions of PCHF compliance challenges and recommendations for improvements in training and resource development. In alignment with the historical struggles faced by smaller food processors as they adjusted to earlier hazard analysis critical control point regulations and buyer mandates, both survey participant groups identified gaps in processor awareness of the PCHF Rule and its requirements, knowledge of good manufacturing practices, sanitation standards, and core elements of the hazard analysis risk-based approach to food safety, including conducting a hazard analysis and establishing verification and validation procedures. Recommendations included creating awareness materials for distribution to SVS food processors and educational programs and resources tailored to the needs and learning styles of SVS food processors that will increase motivation to engage in the PCHF compliance process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-181
Number of pages22
JournalFood Protection Trends
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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