NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A new program at New Mexico State University is hoping to help people better understand the threat microbial hazards pose to food products. The new program, the Listeria Control Specialist Certificate Program, gives attendees a chance to become experts on controlling listeria in their facilities. According to the Center for Disease Control, listeria usually comes from eating contaminated food. Symptoms include headache, fever or diarrhea.

The Listeria Control Specialist Certificate Program is made up of five online courses:

  • Good Manufacturing Practices in Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Hygienic Zoning in Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Environmental Monitoring in Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Sanitation Controls in Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Hygienic Facility and Equipment Design in a Food Manufacturing Facility

Officials say the goal of the program is to improve food safety and boost competitiveness of New Mexico’s specialty crops. There are 30 spots available for the free program. The deadline to apply for a spot is December 1. Once the program is complete, people will get a Listeria Specialist Certificate.