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Indiana food safety gets federal grant for five years

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on December 15, 2010 with No Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Protection Task Force Conference program has awarded a $10,000 annual grant for the next five years – a total of $50,000 — to Indiana to support ongoing efforts to protect the state’s vital food and agriculture infrastructure by focusing on food safety and defense issues.

The grant will go to the Indiana Food Safety and Defense (IFSD) Task Force, which is managed by the Indiana State Department of Health. The Task Force comprises several representatives of state and local government, the food industry, healthcare, and academia, as well as participants from the federal government. Indiana is now one of 27 states to receive funding from the FDA to support food protection task force programs.

“This Task Force provides a forum for open and frank dialogue among industry, regulators, academia, and other stakeholders in food safety and defense, with the end goal of a stronger, more efficient statewide food safety and defense system that maximizes the protection of public health through the prevention, early detection, and containment of foodborne illnesses,” State Health Commissioner Gregory N. Larkin, said. “Ultimately, it promotes a safer food supply while enhancing economic development.”

The Indiana Food Safety and Defense Task Force members meet twice per year, focusing on goals like the following:

•Providing technical expertise for special Indiana projects;

•Seeking input from stakeholders on proposed or future rules, regulations, and/or statutes to help regulators in the development of formal guidance policies;

•Promoting a common understanding among industry, regulators, and other stakeholders on food safety and defense issues by fostering ongoing communication during and outside of the biannual meetings; and

•Creating an educational, collaborative environment for stakeholders in an effort to remove any barriers to effectively working together.

“The state of Indiana has been at the forefront of food safety and manufacturing plant security initiatives,” Tina R. Anderson, vice president for Quality Assurance and Research & Development at Red Gold, said.

“The Red Gold company, along with many Indiana food processors have actively participated in and benefited from the IFSD Task Force. Our collaborative efforts and initiatives have resulted in sharing best practices across a broad range of Indiana food processing categories. We are excited and appreciative of the grant from the FDA to the IFSD Task Force to help us and the state of Indiana continue to be at the leading edge of food safety and food processing plant security.”

Joseph Reardon, director of the FDA’s Division of Federal-State Relations, said the grant reflects the FDA’s continuing efforts to build an integrated food safety system among federal, state, and local partners.

“The Indiana Food Safety and Defense Task Force is a prime example of the grant’s effectiveness in convening stakeholders in food safety and public health,” he said. “We are excited to award this grant to Indiana in an effort to provide greater food and feed safety and defense capabilities to better serve the citizens of their state.”

For more information, call 888-463-6332, or visit www.fda.gov.

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