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North Carolina Production Guide for Smaller Orchard Plantings

By: Nicholas Basinger, Janet Owle, Abbey Piner, Michael Parker

North Carolina’s climate and soils are well suited to grow many types tree fruits. This publication will focus on the three main tree fruits produced for market in North Carolina: peaches, apples, and pecans. In addition to these main crops, information on pears, persimmons, plums, nectarines, Asian pears, and figs is presented as they grow well in North Carolina’s temperate climate. These tree fruits require similar management regimes described in this publication.

Foods That Require No Cooking

Disaster Preparedness

This publication covers a variety of foods that can be prepared even if there is no gas or electricity for cooking.

Ideas for "No-Cook" Food Bags

Disaster Preparedness

In preparation for an emergency, keep the following food items that do not need refrigeration on hand or in an evacuation kit.

Guide to Understanding and Addressing PFAS in our Communities

By: Khara Grieger, Katlyn May

This FactSheet provides a guide to understanding and addressing PFAS in our communities, which may be helpful for Extension agents, community members, and others who are interested in learning more about PFAS and their potential impacts.

Designing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan for Shell Eggs

By: Patricia Curtis, Ken Anderson, Marissa Herchler

With the addition of new regulatory requirements and continually emerging pathogens, developing and designing a HACCP plan has become more and more complex. This publication compiles published research data to provide a step-by-step approach to designing and developing HACCP plans.

Identifying and Responding to Factors That Can Affect Egg Quality and Appearance

By: Ken Anderson, Darrin Karcher, Deanna Jones

This publication is a useful resource that shell egg producers can use to identify egg defects and possible factors contributing to egg quality issues. It also provides corrective measures for each defect so that producers can incorporate these solutions into their production systems.

Lactic Acid Fermentation

This factsheet describes the processes of creating fermented foods like yogurt, pickled vegetables, and sourdough bread.

Managing the Impact of Floodwater Contaminants on Soil and Produce in Residential, Community, and School Vegetable Gardens

By: Carl Crozier, Benjamin Chapman, Catherine Kastleman, Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, Bryan Luukinen, Samuel Cohen, Steve Yang, Luke Gatiboni, Lucy Bradley

This publication discusses how floods can affect food gardens. In it, you'll find recommendations for preparing your garden before a flood, precautions to take after the storm, and how to safely clean up and replant after floodwaters recede.

Extrusion Processing: A Versatile Technology for Producing Foods and Feeds

By: Michael Joseph, Rhea Hebert

This factsheet introduces extrusion as a food and feed production process. Topics include the basic history, equipment, and application of extrusion in the production of human and animal foods.

Southern Regional Strawberry Plasticulture Production Guide

By: Mark Hoffmann, Amanda McWhirt, Jayesh Samtani, Guido Schnabel, Daniel Tregeagle, Hannah Dankbar, Gina Fernandez, Chip Simmons, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Barclay Poling, David Lockwood, Roy Flanagan, Erin Eure, Kathryn Holmes, Rebecca Melanson, Kristin Hicks, Aaron Cato, Sanjun Gu

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of strawberry production in the Southeastern United States. It covers topics like cultivars, marketing, economics, production techniques, and additional considerations such as cropping and food safety. The guide is structured into four chapters, each addressing different aspects of strawberry farming, with useful resources in the appendix.

Best Practices for Utilizing Local Food in Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes

By: Dara Bloom, Margie Mansure, Zandra Alford Local Foods

This publication provides practical tips on how to promote health eating by incorporating fresh, local foods into nutrition education and cooking classes. Topics include getting started, knowing what's in season, and where to buy local foods.

The Role of Preconditioning in Food and Feed Extrusion

By: Michael Joseph

This Q&A factsheets answers several questions about the preconditioning process in food and feed extrusion.

Direct to Food Bank and Food Pantry Donations

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses food donations given directly to food banks and food pantries in North Carolina.

Basic Food Microbiology

By: John Rushing, P.A. Curtis, A.M. Fraser, D.P. Green, D.H. Pilkington, D.R. Ward, L.G. Turner

This factsheet describes the role microorganisms play in food production. Bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, and protozoans can serve useful functions in food production, but may also cause foods to spoil and lead to disease in humans and animals.

Measuring the Heat

By: Sally McNeill R.D. , L.D.N. For Safety's Sake

Temperature control is essential to food safety, and a thermometer is integral to temperature control. Every food handler should know how to use and calibrate a thermometer. This fact sheet will help you select, use, and calibrate several food service thermometers.

Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Power Outage

By: Benjamin Chapman Disaster Preparedness

After a power outage, you might not have heat, refrigeration, or water. This publication explains how to safely prepare food when you have no power.

Let’s Talk About Risk: A Guide to Identifying, Assessing, Managing, and Communicating Risk

By: Khara Grieger, Madison Horgan, Christopher Cummings

This publication outlines and describes core concepts of risk that are used in various environmental, health, and societal circumstances. It covers the following topics: defining risks, identifying and assessing risks, managing risks, and communicating risks.

Registering a Pet Food Business in North Carolina

By: Marissa Cohen Starting a Pet Food Business in North Carolina

Starting a pet food business is much more involved than making food or treats and selling them for a profit. There are regulatory requirements that must be met to sell or otherwise distribute animal food products in North Carolina. To help simplify this process, a series of factsheets has been developed to provide clarification of the requirements.

Brief Instructions for Freezing Fruit

This publication covers best freezing practices for a variety of fruits.

FDA Food Processing Facility Registration

By: Lynette Johnston, Nicholas Kate

Fact sheet covering the Food & Drug Association’s (FDA) requirements for food facilities to register their food processing establishments, continuing biannual registration renewal, and obtaining unique facility identifier numbers.

Insurance Coverage Options for Fresh Produce Growers

By: Roderick Rejesus, Annette Dunlap Food Safety

This publication provides information to help produce growers understand the variety of insurance coverage or policies available to best cover their farms.

Choosing and Using a Copacker

By: John Rushing

This factsheet provides guidance to entrepreneurs on selecting a copacker to manufacture and package their food products.

Food Labeling: FDA Exemptions for Small Business

By: John Rushing

This factsheet explains the nutrition labeling requirements small businesses are exempt from.

Personnel Current Good Manufacturing Practices for Animal Food Safety

By: Marissa Herchler Understanding and Implementing Current Good Manufacturing Practices for Animal Food Producers

The FDA considers Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) to be “Necessary to prevent animal food from containing filthy, putrid, or decomposed substances, being otherwise unfit for food, or being prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.” (Preamble, II: Legal Authority). This factsheet covers the guidelines for meeting the regulatory requirements for personnel CGMP.

Understanding Climate, Planning, and Response Terms Within the Forestry Context

By: John Hastings, Mark Megalos, Heather Aldridge

New and existing professionals working in the realm of climate education, research, and outreach need to be clear in their terminology and usage. This glossary compiles the most commonly used terms and definitions for academics, researchers, and educators to communicate effectively in this emerging arena. To enhance understanding, key terms include a separate interpretative explanation of the concept “Why this matters.”

Pickle and Pickle Product Problems

By: Judy Henderson, Rose Massey, Lillie Tunstall, Carrie Thompson For Safety's Sake

This guide lists the problems that can arise in making sweet gherkin pickles and describes how to prevent them by taking precautions during each step in the process, from preparing the cucumbers to making the brine and packing the pickles.

Extended Shelf-Life Refrigerated Foods

By: John Rushing

This factsheet describes the potential safety hazards of extended shelf life refrigerated foods and provides recommendations for safe production and packaging.

Food Safety Modernization Act Current Good Manufacturing Practices for Food for Animals and COVID-19

By: Marissa Herchler, Adam Fahrenholz

How existing facility Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on personal hygiene and sanitation can be adapted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Abbreviated Guide to Creating a Livestock Food Safety Plan Under the Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF) Rule

By: Adam Fahrenholz, David Fairfield, Marissa Herchler, Dianne Milazzo, Jenny Murphy

This guide outlines steps that a facility producing livestock food could follow when developing its required food safety plan. The guide is accompanied by an example food safety plan that demonstrates the application of steps outlined in this guide and illustrates an acceptable food safety plan structure that contains required and best management practices information.

Developing a Recall Plan

By: John Rushing

This factsheet provides a guide to the major points that should be covered in a recall plan. Please note that it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to construct the appendices to this outline to produce an adequate recall plan.

Cool Hot Foods

By: Sandra Woodard For Safety's Sake

Instructions for safely handling cooled hot foods.

Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide for North Carolina Cooperative Extension

By: Dara Bloom, Emily Gamble Local Foods

This publication provides information and success stories related to food banks, food pantries, food donation programs, and other resources for addressing food insecurity.

Kitchen Cleanup After the Flood

By: Benjamin Chapman Disaster Recovery

This publication covers steps to take to clean up your kitchen after a disaster or emergency.

Scheduled Processes

By: John Rushing, H.P. Fleming

This factsheet explains the necessity of manufacturing acidified food products according to a scheduled process. A scheduled process is a process selected by a processor as adequate for use under the conditions of manufacture for a food in achieving and maintaining a food product that will not permit the growth of microorganisms having public health significance.

Conservation Tillage on Organic Farms

By: Keith Baldwin, Nancy Creamer CEFS

This online publication describes how cover crops affect the soil, how to establish cover crops, and how to manage their residue. It includes a review of the winter and summer cover crops recommended for North Carolina. The authors also discuss the economics of planting cover crops and some concerns to consider when planting cover crops.

Shellfish Leases and Harvest Closures Along the North Carolina Coast

By: Sheila Saia, Natalie Nelson, Sierra Young, Steven Hall

This publication discusses the practice of leasing estuarine waters on the North Carolina coast for shellfish mariculture. It covers how shellfish are grown in North Carolina, how shellfish leases work, what constitutes a shellfish growing area and shellfish harvest closure, and the process for reopening after a closure.

Considerations for Developing a HACCP Plan for Acidified Foods

By: John Rushing

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) techniques are becoming the accepted norm for controlling the safety of foods. Each plant should have its own written plan to incorporate HACCP principles in the operation. This factsheet is assembled to provide some general guidance in developing a HACCP plan for use in an acidified foods operation.

FSMA Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF) Exemption Decision Tree Tool

By: Marissa Herchler, Rhea Hebert

The NC State Feed Milling and Animal Food Safety programs have developed a decision tree tool to help guide facilities through the exemption determination process and the requirements for obtaining a qualified facility exemption through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Food Safety Tips for Large Gatherings

For Safety's Sake

This factsheet provides guidance on how to ensure foods are safe when preparing large amounts for gatherings.

The Questions on Salvaging Flooded Crops

By: John Rushing

This factsheet addresses the question of whether or not it is possible to salvage crops from flooded fields.

Tomatoes for Processing in Eastern North Carolina

By: Chris Gunter Horticulture Information Leaflets

The per-capita consumption of processed tomatoes has increased steadily in recent years. This has been due to changes in eating habits and development of new and better products. Over 8 million tons of processed tomatoes are produced in the United States annually. Average yields for the United States are 25 tons per acre while the range is 9 to 40 tons per acre. North Carolina growers can produce high yields of processing tomatoes. Satisfactory color, pH, sugar and acid content needed to produce a fine quality canned product can be attained if tomatoes are grown according to recommended practices.

How Animal Food Facilities Can Prepare for Regulatory Inspections

By: Marissa Herchler, Adam Fahrenholz

Though they can be a source of worry, the fact of the matter is that many animal food facilities often think about preparing for inspections as the inspectors walk through their doors. One of the reasons for this is because the "what if" questions can be large in number, and so facilities get frustrated with trying to come up with a plan. With this in mind, we asked some regulators what advice they have for facilities in order to be proactive and help make the process go more smoothly. This document presents a number of practices that are not required, but might be useful as facilities prepare for, are subjected to, and evaluate the results of inspections.

Eat Smart Move More North Carolina: Growing Communities Through Gardens

By: Keith Baldwin, Diane Beth, Lucy Bradley, Nilam Dave, Susan Jakes, Melissa Nelson

Gardens bring communities together. Not only are community gardens a good way to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets, they also allow us to be active outdoors and build a strong community.

Food Safety Recall Plan Checklist

This document offers a set of steps for food producers to take when issuing a food safety recall.

Safe Food After a Flood

By: Benjamin Chapman Disaster Recovery

This factsheet offers information on how to deal with food that may have come into contact with floodwaters.

Kombucha FAQs

This factsheet answers common questions about kombucha production.


By: Patricia Curtis, John Rushing

This factsheet provides an overview of Listeria and provides guidance on the prevention of foodborne infections (listeriosis).

Juice Inspection Tool

This factsheet is a resource for the inspection of juice products.

I Want to Sell Food in a Retail Market...Now What?

By: Fletcher Arritt

This factsheet describes the regulatory requirements that must be met when starting a new food business.

A Guide to Price-Risk Management in Grain Marketing for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia

By: Nick Piggott

This guide summarizes marketing options for grain and soybean growers and explains how to use basis, the difference between cash and futures prices, to evaluate marketing options.

HACCP in Your School

By: Angie Fraser, Benjamin Chapman, Audrey Kreske, Michael Waldvogel, Patricia Alder

This manual covers Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), a food safety plan for schools to reduce the likelihood of foodborne illness by handling food safely from the time it is received until the time it is served.

Meeting the Press: An Agent's Guide to Media Relations

By: Celia Beauchamp M.S., R.D., LDN For Safety's Sake

This factsheet provides guidance to Extension agents on best practices when dealing with media like newspapers, magazines, or local news.

To Zap or not to Zap? Food Irradiation

This factsheet describes the process of irradiating food

Training Videos Developed for Spanish-Speaking Employees of NC Seafood Processors

By: Alex Chouljenko

Training Videos Developed for Spanish-speaking Employees of NC Seafood Processors North Carolina seafood processors have a new training tool to provide a better understanding of sanitation and safety requirements for Spanish-speaking employees. The NC State Seafood Laboratory received a grant through NC Sea Grant to develop eight Spanish language videos that explain and show the sanitation and safety regulations the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires for seafood processing plants.