The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) is announcing the availability of up to $10,000 for five years to be awarded under the support for Conferences and Scientific meetings to Food Protection Task Forces. The Food Protection Task Force allows states to organize meetings to foster communication, cooperation, and collaboration within the State among State, local, tribal, and territorial food protection, public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies. The meetings include: providing a forum for all stakeholder's of the food protection system;assisting in adopting or implementing the Food Code and other food protection regulations;and promoting the integration of an efficient statewide food safety/defense system that maximizes the protection of public health through prevention, intervention and response including the early detection and contamination of foodborne illness. The Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force meet five to eight times each year. The group comprised of 16 members consisting of the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Commissioner of Health, representatives of the Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department of Agriculture, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Farm Bureau, and nine additional members representing the public and food and agriculture industries and groups. During task force meetings, presentation are made by knowledgeable speakers on current topics in food safety and defense including, Food Protection Rapid Response Team, Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Tool (FASCAT), Manufacturing Retail Food Program Standards, PetNET, FDA Reportable Food Registry, Food Safety Modernization Act, and touring the City of Minneapolis'Emergency Preparedness Training Center. The Task Force has sponsored one or two conferences or workshops each year since 2000 focusing on current food safety or defense issues and concerns. The Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force, as part of this application, will maintain meeting on a quarterly basis and sponsoring workshops, trainings, or conferences for stakeholders. The application describes the meeting plan for the next five years detailing a wide variety of topics and outreach to various food safety and protection audiences.
The Minnesota Food Safety and Protection Task Force seek to continue their efforts coordinating educational efforts about various aspects of food safety, providing advice and coordination to state agencies, serving as a source of information and referral for the public, news media, and other concerned with food safety and making recommendations to Congress, the legislature and others about appropriate actions to improve food safety. The Task Force offers opportunities to stakeholders to gain new knowledge that may not be offered in any other format or venue.