In the SSA Working Groups (WG), stakeholders discuss and work together on (1) development of materials for best practices training, education and outreach, and (2) dissemination of these materials.
What Do Working Groups Do?
SSA Working Groups collate and organize technical inputs from sprout community stakeholders in order to develop industry-specific training information under the direction of the Steering Committee. SSA Working Groups use sound scientific principles; actively review, interpret and utilize pertinent regulations and other policy documents; collect and disseminate guidance on best practices to address compliance with existing regulations; and work collaboratively with relevant food industry stakeholders to create a comprehensive core curriculum, training materials and outreach programs.
Working Group tasks and communications are accomplished primarily through electronic document exchange, webinars and telephone conference calls. The Sprout Safety Alliance has established two primary Working Groups:
Technical Working Group
The SSA Technical WG is developing training materials that reflect best practices for risk reduction in the production of sprouts, and that facilitate industry understanding and implementation of sprout-related requirements in the finalized rule on standards for produce safety, required by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Curriculum is developed by reviewing and gathering important information from existing materials such as FDA Guidance documents, international regulations and best practices documents, and information provided by sprout growers and other Alliance participants, and then using that information to inform the curriculum.
Participants review and comment on proposed content for the chapters, and then a small team, consisting of the Working Group co-Chairs and SSA Coordinator, discusses the comments and edits the document, flagging areas that require more discussion from the group. The process repeats in order to address lingering areas requiring additional deliberation. Where needed, additional technical experts are invited into the discussion, or sprout growers are surveyed, in order to assist with decision-making on the content.
Education / Outreach Working Group
The SSA Education/Outreach WG will establish and execute a strategic plan to deliver and disseminate training materials to targeted stakeholders. Activities will include developing workshop agendas, arranging on-site training facilities, advertising events, recruiting participants, and providing classroom and distance learning training opportunities for stakeholders across the U.S.
If you are serving on a Sprout Safety Alliance Working Group, you can access teleconference and other meeting schedules and work-in-progress files through IIT IFSH's Sharefile system. If you need login and password information, please contact Kaiping Deng at firstname.lastname@example.org.