In this episode we’ll look at the challenges and opportunities of starting and running a food or beverage business in Maine. Is Maine a good place to create businesses such as these? What is the Maine brand? It’s one thing to have a great idea for a delicious food product or a unique beverage but that is just a starting point. Jason Bolton, a food safety specialist from UMaine Cooperative Extension, has been the go-to guy for the vast majority of food and beverage companies in Maine when they face these challenges. He has advised businesses of all shapes and sizes, particularly ones that work with lobsters and Maine’s rapidly growing craft beer and distillery industry. Jason Bolton, Ph.D. is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist, Associate Extension Professor, where he works with food companies in Maine/U.S. on facility design, HACCP implantation, thermal process validation, regulation interpretation and new product development. Dr. Bolton is a cooperating faculty member with the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture, where he performs research in the areas of food processing and brewing sciences and teaches courses on commercial brewing and food safety. Dr. Bolton provides process authority services in the areas of seafood, meat and poultry and acidified canned food products and offers industry courses on Meat and Poultry HACCP, Seafood HACCP, Better Process Control School, FSMA, and Sanitation.