Dear Food Processor,

The development of shared-use processing facilities and incubator kitchens has created opportunities for small and emerging food businesses (SEFB). However, these SEFB are most challenged with navigating their way through regulation and food safety compliance. Therefore, there is a strong need to provide customized training to SEFB personnel to understand critical food safety considerations from concept to commercialization. Integrating the culture of food safety into the product development process from the beginning, rather than at the end, will result in safe products and streamline the development process.

The Universities of Rhode Island and Massachusetts have received a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant to develop an educational program that is intended to help satisfy the food safety educational needs specific to SEFB. The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement a sustainable food safety training program that will help increase knowledge and implementation of food safe practices and enable entrepreneurial success in the marketplace.

To achieve this goal, we are conducting a survey of food processing businesses operating out of shared-use processing facilities in the northeast region. This survey will help us to understand the specific food safety education and training opportunities necessary to support these businesses. By knowing this information, we can better target our outreach efforts and help SEFB personnel to improve their food safety knowledge and practices.

You must be at least 18 years old to participate. This survey will take 30 minutes. We know this is a lot of time. For those who complete the survey in its entirety by the deadline, you can choose to be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card for your participation. There will be 20 recipients. Upon completing the survey, you will be asked if you would like to participate in the lottery drawing. To protect your anonymity if you choose to participate, you will be directed to a separate page NOT connected to the survey, where you can enter your contact information.

Your participation in this survey will be completely anonymous. This means that your answers are private – no one will know that you participated and no one will know what your answers were. We will not be able to identify any individual.

Your decision to answer the questionnaire is up to you. There are no risks expected. If you choose not to take the survey, we want to thank you for your time. We hope we have answered all of your questions. If you decide to complete the survey, please do so by Friday, February 1, 2019.

If you have any questions or want more information, please contact us at the telephone numbers listed below. You can also contact the URI Vice President for Research at the University of Rhode Island at (401) 874-4328.

Again, thank you for your time.

Nicole Richard
University of Rhode Island

Lori Pivarnik, PhD
University of Rhode Island
5% of survey complete.