multidisciplinary workshop and project addressed food safety and business
operation security for Mississippi stakeholders. The aim of this project was to
minimize the impact of natural disasters, intentional and unintentional
contamination through the development and implementation of preventive food
safety plans, business management, and crisis communication. Two face-to-face workshops (n=13 participants), eight webinar sessions (n=16), and four supplemental webinars (n=217) were conducted. The participants represented small produce and livestock farmers, limited resource producers, retail food establishments, meats processors, and/or small beginning farmers/food manufacturers. Further, project team members assisted stakeholders directly (n=27) in the development of their business, including facility, food safety, and legal parameters. In summary of educational activities, financial and legal risk understanding improved based on retrospective evaluation feedback. Prior to educational sessions, 48% participants had "no understanding" to "little understanding" regarding the financial risk parameters. After the session, roughly 70% had "much to complete understanding". With legal risk, 46% participants had 'no to little understanding' while after the session, roughly 96% had "much to complete understanding" of the legal risk objectives. Participant responses indicated an increase in awareness about the
importance of developing, implementing, and maintaining food safety plans,
business management, and crisis communication during unforeseen events.