Michael Chappell, the FDA's acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, said: "These cooperative agreements support and enhance local food safety efforts. The grants are another step in the FDA's continuing efforts to build an integrated food safety system between federal, state, and local partners." Comprising 83 grants, the money will be invested in four major areas: Response, intervention, innovation and prevention.
In the area of response, the grants will be used to set up the Food Protection Rapid Response Team (RRT). It will also include Program Infrastructure Improvement Prototype Project cooperative agreements designed to develop, implement, exercise, and integrate the response to all food hazards and foodborne illness.
Intervention grants will cover Food Safety and Security Monitoring (FERN). The grants will be specifically directed towards microbiological, chemical, or radiological analysis.
The innovation part of the new investment will be dedicated to Innovative Food Defense. These grants will be awarded to generate products that complement, develop, or improve State and local food defence programs.
The prevention part of the grants covers the Food Protection Task Force Conference program. This focuses on meetings that foster communication, cooperation, and collaboration among state, local, and tribal food protection, public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies.
The meetings will provide a forum for all the stakeholders of the food protection system; including regulatory agencies, academia, industry, consumers, state legislators, boards of health and agriculture, and other interested parties. Meanwhile, the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) welcomed the investment in training food safety inspectors.
Aporte: Alejandra Lavín