Camper Emily Ibarra of Great Bend and visiting professor, Dr. Pamela Hatesohl of Kansas State University stir small batches of yogurt they will allow to ferment.

Though the Food Science and Safety program at Seward County Community College/ATS is relatively new, the career and industry possibilities are broad. This year’s FSS Summer Academy introduced students to the chemistry and biology used to study food properties, food spoilage, food processing and foodborne diseases.
What that meant in practical terms was yogurt-making, Amish friendship bread and even a cookout — after students learned the science of meat safety by injecting E.coli bacteria into raw hamburger, preparing slides, and observing what happened over time.

“The burgers were E. coli free,” noted program specialist Chris Guyer.
Visiting professor Dr. Pamela Hatesohl of Kansas State University helped craft the week’s studies, focusing on fermentation, preservation and contamination/disease control in foods. In addition to lab work, the camp included visits to local food processors LIST, the college’s own cafeteria and kitchen and a lecture and mock inspection by Kansas Department of Agriculture surveyor Guy Windholz of Topeka.
While the FSS program promises graduates a career path in fields like quality control, lab work, education, food production and inspection, plant sanitation, technical sales or lab design of new products, one student had a distinctly down-to-earth take on her camping experience.
“I want to become a chef,” said Emily Ibarra of Great Bend. “My high school counselor told me about the camp, and I thought it would be helpful to have a deeper understanding of what’s happening with the food as you cook. I think it will give me an advantage.”
In the meantime, Ibarra said, “I’m going to enjoy the yogurt we made.”