Feb 18, 2016FDA grant establishes two regional centers for food safety training
The FDA announced the award for two regional centers for food safety training and outreach.
In 2015, the FDA and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Grant Program, intended to provide funding for training, education and technical assistance consistent with standards being established under FSMA. Grants issued through this program will fund a National Coordination Center and four Regional Centers, which will be involved in both key components of training—primarily facilitating training delivery but also, in certain situations, facilitating curricula development targeted to specific audiences.
In October, 2015, FDA announced that the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) of Battle Creek, Michigan received the award to establish the National Coordination Center. Also in October, NIFA announced the awards for the first two regional centers. The University of Florida received the grant to establish the Southern Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Center to Enhance Produce Safety. Oregon State University received the grant to establish the Western Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Center to Enhance Food Safety.
The FDA recently announced the award for the second two regional centers. Iowa State University has received the grant to establish the North Central Regional Center for Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach and Technical Assistance. The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College has received the grant to establish The Northeast Center for Food Safety, Training, Education, Extension, Outreach and Technical Assistance.
The goal of FSMA training programs will be the outcome – advancing knowledge among food producers to meet FSMA requirements, the FDA said. The regional centers will be charged with understanding and communicating the landscape of training opportunities available to target businesses in their region. They will identify any need to develop or tailor curricula to meet specific unmet regional needs and/or to target a specific audience. These centers will work with representatives from non-governmental and community-based organizations, as well as representatives from cooperative extension services, food hubs, local farm cooperatives and other entities that can address specific needs of the communities they serve.