U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations in 21 CFR 108, 113, and 114, as well as Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) regulations for wholesale processers, require that acidified and low-acid food manufacturers operate with a certified supervisor on hand at all times during production. This BPCS also meets U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) regulations 9 CFR 318.300 and 381.300 for shelf-stable, thermally processed meat and poultry products. Upon successful completion of the course, each participant will receive a certificate that can be used as evidence of knowledge in thermal processing systems, acidification, and container closure evaluation programs for low-acid and acidified canned foods.

The BPCS is presented in two overlapping tracks. Week 1 meets the training requirements for processors of shelf-stable hermetically sealed acidified foods. Week 2 covers all process systems and types of containers and closures used to manufacture acidified and low-acid foods in cans, jars, bottles, or flexible containers.

The instructors are drawn from the Pennsylvania State University, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and industry experts.

Who Should Attend

  • Retort Operators
  • Each processor of low-acid or acidified foods must operate with a certified supervisor on hand at all times during processing.


  • Microbiology of thermally processed foods
  • Principles of food plant sanitation
  • Principles of acidified foods
  • Food container handling
  • Principles of thermal processing
  • Records and record-keeping
  • Equipment, instrumentation and operation
  • Closures for glass containers
  • Still steam retorts
  • Still steam retorts with over-pressure
  • Hydrostatic retorts
  • Continuous rotary retorts
  • Batch agitating retorts
  • Aseptic processing and packaging systems
  • Closures for double seamed metal and plastic containers