Monday, November 24, 2008

USDA grant finances cost-benefit
assessment of HACCP

Dr. Amit Sharma, assistant professor of hospitality management at Penn State University, received a grant of $555,819 over three years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a cost-benefit assessment model of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation in commercial foodservice operations.

The HACCP preventative food safety program was developed nearly 30 years ago for astronauts and applies to the canned food industry, seafood, juice, milk, and meat and poultry processing plants. Sharma's project will conduct research in casual dining restaurants, grocery stores and gas station food outlets. A total of 12 organizations will participate through their various units in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The central outcome of the project will be to develop a model that helps managers evaluate the costs of investing in HACCP implementation versus its potential benefits. It will also lead to the development of training modules for management and consumers.

"Given the importance of food safety and HACCP for foodservice organizations and the novel approach of this research, its outcomes will help to fill a critical gap in foodservice management and consumer decision-making," Sharma says.

ACF Pittsburgh Chapter donates $10,000
to ACF Culinary Team USA

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Pittsburgh Chapter recently announced that it would contribute a donation of $10,000 to ACF Culinary Team USA to help cover the team's expenses at the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) International Culinary Art Competition, or "culinary Olympics," which were held Oct. 19–22 in Erfurt, Germany.

"ACF Pittsburgh Chapter always comes through for ACF because of its wonderful members and dedication to culinary advancement," said John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, WGMC, AAC, ACF national president. "I was honored when I received word of the donation to ACF Culinary Team USA. Our success at the 'culinary Olympics' was intertwined with the support from ACF members in Pittsburgh and across the United States."

This is the chapter's second $10,000 donation to ACF Culinary Team USA. The first was in 2004, when the chapter raised funds to support the team and one of its members, Scott Fetty, who was then a member of ACF Culinary Team USA's regional team. This year, the 250-member chapter rallied again to recognize Fetty, a member of the 2008 AAC Culinary Regional Team USA, and support all of America's "culinary Olympic" chefs. The chapter's donation was a direct result of a special fund-raising event, The Pittsburgh Olympic Chefs' Dinner, which was held at Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa., Sept. 16.

The fund-raising dinner showcased the talents and history of ACF Pittsburgh Chapter Olympic chefs through the years. Framed IKA medals, photos and biographies were displayed, and past "culinary Olympic" team members helped coordinate the event and plan menus.