The International Food Protection Training Institute in Battle Creek, in collaboration with the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at Louisiana State University, Monday announced the pilot delivery of NCBRT’s course, “Team Approach to Foodborne Outbreak Response.”

The course is being held on July 12-13 at the Kendall Center at Western Michigan University’s Battle Creek campus to members of state and local emergency response agencies from around the United States.

This Department of Homeland Security certified course is designed to improve the speed and efficiency of food protection officials when controlling a foodborne event such as the deadly E. coli outbreak occurring in Europe. This course is offered at no direct cost to state and local food emergency responders.

“We are especially vulnerable to outbreaks here in the United States with our complex processing and distribution system, and high volume of imported goods, “said Thomas Tucker, director of the LSU center, adding that his center and the institute “have gotten ahead of the game by developing and offering training to help control such incidents in the U.S.”

The course identifies how the skills, resources, and expertise of all levels of government can be effectively connected within a national integrated food safety system. In the United States, communication among government agencies often determines the speed and efficiency of controlling outbreaks.

“During an outbreak, we need to be fast and we need to be right,” said Gerald Wojtala, Executive Director at the International Food Protection Training Institute. “Training is the key to preparing government officials, food industry representatives, and consumers for these events.”

The International Food Protection Training Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization building and administering the training infrastructure for the nation’s integrated food safety system.

Working with federal regulatory and public health officials, IFPTI is establishing and overseeing the implementation of a career-spanning food protection training curriculum that will increase capacity, and assure competency and equivalency throughout all regulatory jurisdictions in meeting established U.S. federal food safety standards.

IFPTI is a member of the GFPI global initiative, a knowledge-exchange and resource-development network seeking to influence the adoption of food protection practices and policies in pursuit of a safe, secure, and healthy food supply.

Financial support for IFPTI is provided by a grant from the Food and Drug Administration, and through the generosity of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


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