Specialty food products are high value foods made in small quantities from superior quality ingredients. These products offer distinctive features to customers who pay a premium price.
Increased specialty food production has raised food safety concerns due to potential hazards. These concerns include:
A lack of adequate barriers to prevent contamination by microorganisms as a result of "all natural" with “no added preservatives”
Uncommon and poorly characterized ingredients and procedures used to create specialty food products may result in pathogen and allergen contamination
Lack of appropriate regulations on specialty food products.
These potential hazards necessitate a thorough examination of food safety issues in specialty food production and development of specific education and training programs for ensuring their safe production.
Supported by the USDA CSREES NIFSI program, this website provides educational information for enhancing food safety of specialty food production in the Northwest region through collaborative efforts among the three Northwest land-grant university Extension services, and the state department of agriculture food safety programs. In addition, workshops and short courses will be provided to the regional specialty food processors, vendors, and food inspectors to enhance their knowledge and implementation of appropriate measures to enhance food safety of specialty foods.