The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS) is a regional effort to consolidate food safety outreach and education efforts in a collaborative and consistent manner through strong network facilitation, peer review, consensus-driven curricula and resource sharing. This regional network complements national and other regional centers in this joint effort to improve food safety through Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) related educational and research initiatives. The long-term goal of NECAFS is to provide a sustainable, comprehensive food safety training, education and technical assistance program that assists small and mid-sized food producers and processors with FSMA compliance. The project?s overall objective is to build the regional network infrastructure necessary to support a national food safety system that increases the understanding and adoption of established food safety standards, guidance, and protocols for those affected by FSMA. Our target audience includes owners and operators of small and medium-sized produce farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers in the Northeast region. We will achieve these goals by pursuing the following objectives: Establish Foundational Structure ? This objective captures the Development and Implementation components of the project including Early-Stage Center Structure, Outreach, Recruitment and Training Plan, Center Strategic Plan Development & Development of a Communication Plan. Build Capacity, Competency and Collaboration ? We will recruit and develop the regional ?network? by leveraging the collective expertise of University partners and FDA to provide comprehensive information and educational events on topics related to FSMA regulations. Develop Curricula and Deliver Educational Programs ? We will connect regulatory development and compliance requirements with science-based research and educational programs through cooperative activities between NECAFS partners, FDA, and Northeast state departments of agriculture. Evaluate and Assess Progress and Impact ? Our guiding principle is to Make a Positive Impact: To Participants, To Trainers, & To Science. We will ensure this by implementing an
Occurrences of food borne illness have increased in recent years necessitating focused regulation and educational initiatives in the area of food safety among producers and processors. The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS) is a regional effort to consolidate food safety outreach and education efforts in a collaborative and consistent manner through strong network facilitation, peer review, consensus-driven curricula and resource sharing. NECAFS aims to improve food safety in the Northeast through the collaborative development of outreach and education efforts aligned with nationally coordinated educational programs.