Food and Beverage Industry Services
MMEC is dedicated to the future success of manufacturing, and one of the most vibrant and growing sectors in Montana is the food and beverage processing and manufacturing industry. With the passing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, we have increased our emphasis on supporting food manufacturers and processors, brewers and distillers, and others affected by the updated law by ensuring and enabling compliance through expansion of our food program, including key training requirements.
Nearly 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses every year, with nearly 3000 annual fatalities. The goal of the FSMA is to reduce these mostly preventable occurrences in the food manufacturing industry, by identifying all the possible ways in which food can become unsafe and establishing control steps that mitigate those risks.
Food manufacturers need to know that:
- FSMA rules have precise requirements for risk reduction,
- FSMA rules have deadlines for compliance, and
- FSMA rules are enforceable as federal law and violations may be treated as criminal acts.
MMEC is here to help! We have numerous services, resources, and classes focused on understanding and complying with the FSMA . As part of the MEP National Network, MMEC also has a collaborative partnership with Idaho’s TechHelp and Impact Washington to provide even more services with our combined food resources.
- Q & A – Browse the Food Safety Q & A page for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the FSMA, including “What is It?” and “Do I need to comply with it?”
- Guides and resources – access key resources that can help you get started:
- Montana Department of Health and Human Services Wholesale Food Site– Understand which agencies have jurisdiction over food sales and services and find guides on labeling, certification, drug claims and more.
- Montana Department of Agriculture Survey – farmers can estimate if they’re covered or exempt from the Food Safety Rule with this FSMA Produce Safety Rule Exemption Decision Tool.
- University of Arkansas Indigenous Food Safety Program – the Native American Tribal Center for Food Safety Outreach, Education, Training and Technical Assistance provides education and assistance on Indigenous food and agriculture, including this food safety needs assessment
- Montana Cottage Food Law - The Cottage Food Program allows certain food items to be produced in a home kitchen and sold to the general public. Registration is NOT required if products are only being sold at farmers’ markets. Find out more on the DPHHS Montana Cottage Food website.
- Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) - The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) is a broad-based public private alliance consisting of key industry, academic and government stakeholders whose mission is to support safe food production by developing a nationwide core curriculum, training and outreach programs to assist companies producing human and animal food in complying with the preventive controls regulations that will be part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
- Food and Beverage Manufacturing Experts – David Allard is the Food and Process Specialist for MMEC, with more than 25 years of experience. As a FSPCA certified Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), he can provide you with one-on-one guidance on food safety compliance, as well as consulting on all aspects of manufacturing operations. As part of the MEP National Network, food and beverage manufacturers in Montana also have access to a number of other expert resources throughout the Pacific northwest and across the country. Download the flyer for information on additional services available.
- Food Safety Classes – Go to our event calendar for upcoming classes on key topics, such as creating a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan, understanding and applying the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) or becoming a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI). Download the flyer or see our Training Services page for information on other training and certification classes available on demand.
What Manufacturers Have Said
"MMEC’s assistance with the design and startup of our new facility has allowed Pardue Grain to stand up a new, state of the art manufacturing facility in Cut Bank which will add 12 permanent employees with good paying jobs. Without them working alongside our team throughout the process, it would have taken us twice as long to get up and running, but more importantly, MMEC was instrumental in designing this project around a high level, food safety protocol. This is the first plant of this design at this level of processing that anyone is aware of. MMEC has been a critical asset in all aspects of designing and building an SQF2 compliant facility, explaining the hiring and on-site education of a capable and dedicated workforce, and ensuring efficient and safe production of high quality products. MMEC brought a level of professionalism that caused for the creation of professional drawings and design that is uncommon in the agricultural sector." - Roger Sammons, Pardue Grain
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