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Microbiological Testing: A Hands-On Food Safety Course is a career-building training opportunity. It’s offered exclusively for dairy industry professionals with food safety responsibilities, including those working in quality assurance and control, sanitation, maintenance, operations and more.

The course was developed by IDFA and Chestnut Labs to provide skills and tools for dairy plant professionals with responsibility for ensuring food safety.

The lab setting lets participants see how the learning objectives are put into practice, making this a unique education experience. The course offers participants the opportunity for growth within their companies and their fields.

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  1. Proper plating, reading and interpretation of common indicator microorganisms through hands-on application with expert instruction.
  2. How to prevent common mistakes in microbiological testing.
  3. How to create and interpret product specifications, including how to choose the correct test methods and sampling plans.
  4. How to assist with the design, implementation and ongoing operation of a pathogen environmental sampling program, including root cause and corrective action, and the best testing methodologies to perform based on product type and sanitizer use within the facility.
  5. How to perform internal laboratory audits, including the proper evaluation of equipment calibrations, good laboratory practices and lab design.
  6. How to control pathogens of significance in the dairy industry
  7. How the pending FDA Food Safety Modernization Act requirements will affect your organization and how to be better prepared for FDA inspections

Full Agenda

Registration Fee: $1,495
Registration includes three days of instruction, lunch, coffee breaks, and networking reception at the end of Day One along with take-home materials.

Group Discount
IDFA and Chestnut Labs will grant a 10 percent registration discount for groups of three or more people from the same company. 

Cancellation Policy
Full refunds will be granted for written cancellations received up to three weeks before the course. Cancellations received after February 12, 2019 will be eligible for a 50 percent refund. No registration refunds will be granted after February 26, 2019. All cancellations must be received in writing. Substitutions may be made without penalty.

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DoubleTree By Hilton, 2431 N Glenstone Ave, Springfield MO 65803


Chestnut Labs Education Center
2835 North Oak Grove Avenue
Springfield, MO  65803

Participants will need to provide a photo ID to register and enter the facility each morning.

Kristen Acker, M.B.A.
Vice President and General Manager, Chestnut Labs

As Vice President and General Manager of Chestnut Labs, Kristen Acker provides strategic leadership for the organization including all divisions and locations; microbiology, chemistry, research, consulting, training, auditing and education, information technology infrastructure and business development are a part of this responsibility. Acker also serves as the Vice President- Technical Support Services and Laboratory Operations for Dairy Farmers of America Inc., overseeing all manufacturing laboratories, LIMS implementations and supporting the business with technical and customer support.

Previous to her current role at Chestnut Labs, Acker served as the Vice President- Quality Assurance and Technical Services for Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. She had oversight of operational quality assurance for DairiConcepts, and DFA beverage and dairy foods and cheese and power ingredient facilities. Acker has significant experience in microbiological testing and method evaluation, food safety risk assessment, and pathogen control and testing, and has provided numerous presentations within the industry regarding the development of food safety programs and the control of pathogens in the environment.

Acker is an expert in microbiological testing and method evaluation, food safety risk assessment, and pathogen control and testing. She has also served as a subject matter expert on the Dairy Management Inc. Food Safety Task Force Committee, which is a part of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Acker received her B.S. in biology and chemistry from Missouri State University and an M.B.A. from Drury University.

Haiping Li, Ph.D.
Director of Technical Services, Chestnut Labs

Haiping Li is a food safety expert with 20 years of research experience ranging from dairy fermentation and biotech, to pathogen environmental/processing tolerance, risk assessment, and low moisture food manufacturing. Prior to Chestnut Labs, Li was a staff microbiologist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration where she directed several research projects and served on various committees. Her work involved risk assessments of thermal processing technologies, and pathogen resistance and preventive control in low moisture food and processing environments. She received her Ph.D. and Master degree in Food Science at the University of Minnesota. Before coming to the U.S., Li worked in China Shandong Center of Disease Control, gaining knowledge about food safety and public health policies in China.

John Allan
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and International Standards, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA)

John Allan directs all aspects of IDFA’s food safety training initiatives, leads efforts related to product safety issues and has responsibilities in federal and state regulatory affairs. He engages on behalf of IDFA members with 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc., and the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS). Allan also helps represent IDFA’s international trade interests through his seat on the U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Trade Representative Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade of Processed Foods, as well as through engagement with the International Dairy Federation and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex).

Prior to joining IDFA, Allan was the director of regulatory and international affairs for the National Yogurt Association, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and AFFI’s affiliated associations: the National Frozen Pizza Institute, Frozen Potato Products Institute and the Frozen Food Foundation.

Allan also has regulatory and technical affairs experience in the infant formula industry and has worked for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization helping develop Codex international food standards. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and a Master of Science in food science and technology.


Learn more about Chestnut Labs

We will personally reach back out to explain more about our company and to learn how our food safety solutions can help you.

Thank you!