view current print edition




Danaco to offer special food-safety training for small growers

by Lora Abcarian | October 05, 2011

Danaco Solutions has partnered with Chipolte and the Produce Marketing Association to offer special food-safety training for small growers.

Drew McDonald, vice president of Danaco Solutions LLC, will discuss the importance of food safety programs to foodservice customers at a special small-grower training session offered by the company in conjunction with Chiplote and the Produce Marketing Association. The event will be held Nov. 9 in Portland, OR. (Photo courtesy of Danaco Solutions LLC)

Danaco Solutions LLC is headquartered in Highland Park, IL, and is a produce supply chain procurement and management firm that specializes in end-to-end risk management for the foodservice industry. The company has more than 20 years of experience in all facets of the produce industry.

Shari Krueger, a food-safety specialist who is based at Danaco's Salinas, CA, office, said that the training session, titled Food Safety for Small Growers: Understanding Your Foodservice Distributor's Requirements, will be held Nov. 9 at the Eco Trust Event Center in Portland, OR.

This is the first time the company has offered this specific training, according to Ms. Krueger, who said, "Historically, Danaco Solutions works with our growers one-on-one, but an opportunity came to us to join forces with the Produce Marketing Association to develop a one-day program uniquely tailored to help local growers explore the challenges of meeting the requirements of developing a food-safety plan."

A full-day agenda has been scheduled on Nov. 9 and will feature Bob Whitaker, PMA's chief science officer, who will provide an overview on food-safety history and discuss current and future challenges. Dr. Whitaker will also moderate a panel of third-party auditors who will discuss the different elements that make up a food-safety audit, what they look for and what kind of interaction they expect.

Drew McDonald, vice president at Danaco Solutions, will discuss the importance of food-safety programs to customers, summarize program objectives for local growers and provide an overview of sustainability.

Chipotle's food-safety team will be on hand to discuss their perspectives on food safety and ways in which the company uses local growers to source produce.

A series of "Vendor Solutions" roundtable discussions will take place. Primus and Food Alliance will be on hand for the morning breakout sessions, and representatives from the NSF International and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be on hand during the afternoon. The sessions will give presenters an opportunity to share information about services and solutions with training participants.

Johnna Hepner, a food safety expert with PMA, will provide an overview of the components of an effective food-safety plan and talk about risk assessment. She will also conclude the day-long training with a discussion about next steps toward food safety and record keeping.

Ms. Krueger said that the training would be limited to 70 people. The registration deadline is Nov. 4, and interested individuals may obtain more information by emailing On-line registration is available at