The purpose of the Missouri Food Safety Task force (MFSTF) is to bring together federal, state and local regulatory agencies, producer and retailer (industry) groups, legislators and consumers to discuss common, crosscutting food safety issues of concern in Missouri and to identify strategies for jointly addressing these concerns. The task force members agreed that: "Production Delivery and Preparation of Safe Food in Missouri" It is the vision for the food safety in Missouri. They also adopted the following mission statement: To work together to promote food safety through: ? Educating producers, processors, retailers, food handlers and the diverse public; ? Facilitating communication and public disclosure (awareness of responsibilities); ? Preventing and reducing food borne illness; ? Supporting practical, focused research and evaluation; ? Supporting economically viable and environmentally responsible policies and practices;and ? Efficiently using pooled resources. The task force used a group consensus process to develop four priorities: 1. Increasing collaboration and interaction between agencies and organizations. 2. Getting the right message to the right audience at the right time and in a form that is useable, 3. Addressing high turnover in retail industry and processing;and 4. Funding for research, for training, and developing priorities.
2010 Food Protection Task Force Grant For the upcoming period (9/01/10 to 8/31/11), the Missouri Food Protection Task Force plans to convene a meeting and inviting a total of 40 participants. At this meeting, participants will be given the opportunity to join one or more of the following workgroups: 1. A workgroup to evaluate all of the food security activities being undertaken by various entities in the state, and identify opportunities to coordinate and streamline these activities. This workgroup will develop a best practices document. 2. A workgroup to evaluate opportunities to strengthen our capabilities to conduct investigations of foodborne illness. This workgroup will develop proposals for revising current policies and procedures and supporting documents. 3. A workgroup to perform a comprehensive review of our current state food safety laws and draft proposed updates and modifications. 4. A workgroup to propose updates to the food recall system in Missouri. This workgroup will draft proposed policies and procedures. 5. A workgroup to evaluate the regulation of pet food manufacturers within the state. This group will draft a guidance brochure for those interested in manufacturing pet food or pet treats as a cottage industry. Each of these workgroups will meet at least once, with some of the groups meeting quarterly to accomplish their assigned tasks. The funds from this grant will pay the travel expenses of the participants participating in the task force and workgroup meetings. This task force and associated workgroup meetings will help Missouri achieve compliance with a number of the national voluntary program standards for retail and manufactured foods. Also as opportunities to present food safety information to specialty groups (e.g. produce growers) grant funds may be used to purchase food safety promotional items like thermometers or sanitizer test strips.