The state of Missouri has a long history of working cooperatively with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on food safety issues. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has performed inspections of manufactured food firms under contract to FDA for many years. DHSS applauds FDAs leadership position and dedication to developing an integrated food safety system. Each level of governmentfederal, state, and local, have very important roles and responsibilities in assuring that the food offered to the public is safety and wholesome. The system can only work at its best when all levels of government work together cooperatively. The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, Food Safety Modernization Act, and the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) have established a framework that will achieve this cooperation. DHSS manufactured foods regulatory program is small, consisting of three inspectors and a program manager. While this compactness does have some advantages it has made compliance with some of the MFRPS difficult. Missouri was a pilot state with the MFRPS and as such has been involved with the program standards since 2007. While DHSS has since made appreciable progress on a number of standards, compliance has been limited in areas that require additional staff. In order to achieve full compliance with the MFRPS, additional inspection and administrative staff are necessary. The funding available through this partnership agreement will enable DHSS to achieve compliance with these standards much quicker than would ever be possible without them. These funds will help DHSS to implement a high quality program that will serve the citizens of Missouri well and those throughout the country and world who eat food manufactured in Missouri. DHSS is requesting $300,000 annually to be invested into additional staff. This includes two field inspectors, a lead inspector who will perform inspections and have administrative responsibilities and a health program representative who will perform a number of administrative functions. The specific functions of these staff and how they will impact DHSS ability to conform to the program standards is further expounded upon in the research proposal. With the possible exception of standard one (DHSS has a limited ability to impact the state legislature), the proposed funding will result in full conformance with each of the ten standards by the end of the five-year partnership agreement period. DHSS further projects to have systems in place to sustain the progress made during this time.
MFRPS Narrative Food safety is an issue that affects everyone. DHSS' proposal improves food safety in Missouri by substantially increasing the number of food manufacturing inspections conducted. It also improves the quality of those inspections by bringing the state program responsible for these inspections into compliance with federal standards on issues such as the evaluation of staff, training, and enforcement.