The International Food Protection Training Institute in Battle Creek, which offers career-spanning, standards-based food protection training to state and local food safety officials, announced that it has trained 1,138 food safety regulators, exceeding its training goal of 1,000 officials for 2010. 

More than 75 percent of the trainees were U.S. federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial regulators representing 47 of the 50 states. Members of academia, industry and other international representatives made up the balance. 

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In addition to the scheduled courses, IFPTI provided emergency “just-in-time” training for regulatory agencies and industries affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

“In 2011, pending the availability of funding included in the president’s fiscal year 2011 budget, we look to more than double our impact and train 2,000 to 3,000 food protection regulatory and public health officials with a focus on train-the-trainer to build capacity,” said Gerald Wojtala, IFPTI executive director.

Working with FDA, IFPTI is building the training infrastructure for the national integrated food safety system. Specifically, IFPTI is focused on achieving four strategic objectives:

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* Developing a training network to provide technical, management, and leadership training to regulatory and public health officials.
* Serving as the hub for the administration of a training network.
* Developing and delivering standards-based training programs not currently offered.
* Building an instructor cadre to ensure the availability of highly trained instructors within regulatory and public health agencies across all jurisdictions.

“IFPTI continues to move rapidly in order to meet the challenge of supporting the integration of the food safety system by assuring the best trained food protection officials across the U. S. and abroad,” said Wojtala.

IFPTI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a member of the Global Food Protection Institute. It seeks to protect the public’s health by building the training infrastructure for the national integrated food protection system that ensures the safety of the U.S. food supply. IFPTI’s training center is inside Western Michigan University’s Kendall Center in downtown Battle Creek. Initial funding for IFPTI has been provided by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

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