Better Process Control School Online
The online course, just like our in-person course, is taught by instructors that have met FDA approval. We use the GMA’s book, "Canned Foods - Principles of Thermal Process Control, Acidification and Container Closure Evaluation, 7th edition" for our instruction. This meets the FDA's regulations in 21 CFR 108, 113, and 114 for low-acid and acidified low-acid canned foods that became effective May 15, 1979. These FDA regulations also apply to low-acid canned pet foods. The course also meets similar regulations and training requirements, 9 CFR 318.300 and 381.300 for thermally processed meat and poultry products, which were implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on June 19, 1987.
The course is meant to be taken on demand (there is no start and end date), but it must be completed in 3 months of receiving your login invitation after registering. The cost is $400.00.
Registration is by credit card or company check. If you would like to pay with a company purchase order/check, please check that option on the first page of the online registration form, and please email Zann Gates at email@example.com or call her at (530) 752-5901 if you need an invoice to be sent to you. Multiple registrants on one check are fine. Checks must be made out to The Regents of the University of California. The remittance address is on the online registration form - you need do only the first page of the form if you are paying by check. For wire transfers (international registrants), please contact me so I can send you transfer information.
If you are paying with a credit card, simply complete the whole payment process online at the link below. You must have your own email account to register - whether it is a company email address or a personal one. Email address cannot be shared between two or more people taking the course.
After you register online or we receive your company check, a course textbook will be mailed to your registration address so you can study. In the registration confirmation email, I will ask you to let me know by email when you receive your book and are ready to starting viewing the video modules (can be done concurrently with studying). You will be sent an invitation to log into the site after that, and you'll have 3 months to complete the exams.
On the registration form, you will see that we ask for your supervisor's email address and mailing address. The FDA requires that each course enrollee takes the course with the knowledge of their supervisor, so we send an email to the listed supervisor to make them aware of the enrollee's registration. The supervisor will also receive a copy of the enrollee's certificate of completion at the end of the course. If you are a small business owner registering for the course and have no supervisor, you may enter "self" as your supervisor.
The course covers the same material and meets the same FDA and USDA approval for instructors and materials as the in-person class, but on an at-your-own-pace schedule instead of our 4-day in-person class. The text used is GMA’s “Canned Foods, 7th edition – Principles of Thermal Process Control, Acidification, and Container Closure Evaluation”. The text is included in the online course; it is mailed to you after you register.
There are 16 chapters covered, listed below. The exams absolutely required to pass the course with at least a 70% grade are bolded in black below, along with the "Acidified Foods" chapter, which would be a total of seven chapters if Acidified Foods applies to your process. You must also pass at least one of the Container chapters relevant to your particular process in addition (Aseptic, Closures for Glass, Metal, or Semirigid).
This means that the mandatory number of chapters for the "Acidified Foods Only" course is 8 chapters out of the 16.
A passing grade is 70% for all exams; you are given the option of two re-takes if you do not pass the first time.
Microbiology of Thermally Processed Foods
Acidified Foods - You MUST take IF your processing facility relies on acidification as a means of ensuring commercial sterility
Principles of Thermal Processing
Records for Product Protection
Food Plant Sanitation
Food Container Handling
Process Room instrumentation, Equipment and Operation
Still Retorts - Pressure processing in Steam
Hydrostatic Retorts - Continuous Container Handling
Still Retorts - Pressure processing with Overpressure
Agitating Retorts - Continuous Container Handling
Agitating Retorts - Discontinuous Container Handling
Aseptic Processing and Packaging Systems
Closures for Glass Containers
Closures for Metal Containers
Closures for Semirigid and Flexible Containers
If your processing facility relies on acidification as a means of ensuring commercial sterility, you must also pass the Acidified Foods exam listed above, which is included in the 16 chapters covered. You must also pass at least one of the Container chapters relevant to your particular process in addition (Aseptic, Closures for Glass, Metal, Semirigid - last 4 listed above). The other chapters are not mandatory, but they are suggested because you may work in facilities that utilize these retorts or techniques sometime in the future. For this reason, we encourage everyone attending the BPCS to study all the chapters presented and take all of the exams.
After you receive your login to the course website, you’ll have 3 months to view the video modules, follow along in the book, and then take each exam. A certificate is given after completion of the tests. Please let Zann Gates know when you are done taking all the tests - since different individuals may choose not to do them all, we won't necessarily know if you're still working on more tests or if you're done with them.