Given the large impact of Iowa's food manufacturing industry, providing high quality inspections based on the scientific principles of food safety is paramount to protecting Iowans and consumers throughout the nation and world. Furthermore, the President has provided a significant level of focus on food safety nationally as has Congress with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Similarly, within Iowa we have found an added interest in food safety. The Bureau has experienced a substantial surge in the number of small local producers seeking to begin manufacturing foods. We identified that we were no longer able to keep up with the growing number of questions and requests to provide assistance and speak to various groups. As part of the MFRPS contract funding option, the Bureau requested funding to help answer these questions. The Bureau used existing staff in October 2011 and hired a new staff person to assist in this area using the MFRPS funding option in November 2011. Continuing this endeavor is absolutely essential to meet the needs of Iowans interested in adding value to agricultural commodities. However, the State's resources are currently not adequate to respond to the growing needs of producers and consumers across Iowa. The Bureau anticipates participation in this cooperative agreement will result in significant enhancement in the quality of inspections and inspectors for Iowa's manufactured food facilities. This will be obtained by the following: The State will achieve and sustain significant to full conformance with the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS); The State has and will continue to actively engage through an annual face-to- face meeting and participation in committees supporting MFRPS; The State has and will collaboratively develop strategies and share those strategies with other states; The State will provide FDA the foundation for pursuing regulatory action based upon the findings of State manufactured food regulatory programs; and The State will seek to further enhance its capability to protect public health through development and implementation of Standard Enhancement Projects. The goal of this project is to attain full conformance. At minimum, absent major unforeseen difficulties, significant conformance will be attained with the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards.
Our focus is to implement the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) by developing policies and procedures, strengthening collaborations and conducting program self- assessment to reach significant conformance with the standards. This will help the Department protect public health by having policies and procedures in place resulting in a high quality manufactured foods regulatory program.