The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) submits the following proposal for yourconsideration through 'Building the Capacity of Food Safety Entities to Protect Public Health inResponse to a Notification under Section 1008 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic(FD&C) Act or a Recall of Foods' (U18) Cooperative Agreement Program. Funding OpportunityAnnouncement Number RFA-FD-12-026 (hereafter, Capacity Building Announcement).NEHA strongly believes that a central tenant to achieving improved foodborne illness detectionand response is enhanced communication, cooperation and coordination between regulatorsand the retail food establishments that have direct contact with food products and the public.In collaboration with industry partners, NEHA has developed and presented several one-day,face-to-face workshops, Industry-Foodborne Illness Investigation Training (I-FIIT). Theworkshop is designed to clarify and expedite investigation response by identifying industry andpublic health roles and responsibilities, establishing and implementing control measures basedon best practices and briefly covering recall actions.NEHA seeks assistance in the amount of $100,000 per year (for a total of three years) underthis agreement to revise and restructure its current I-FIIT workshop to integrate a stronger focuson response to unsafe foods and enhanced capacity to handle recalls effectively with practicalapplication of recall activities utilizing FDA's FREE-B case studies and tabletop exercises. Therevised course will be referred to hereafter as I-FIIT-Recall Response (I-FIIT-RR) workshop.A needs assessment to industry and regulators will be undertaken to determine a baseline ofrecall and traceback knowledge and experience and identify gaps to be addressed in therevised training curriculum. The updated training will be offered at NEHA's Annual EducationConference, to be held in Washington DC in June, 2013. Additional trainings at select foodsafety conferences and a Train the Trainer (TtT) component to ensure long-term sustainabilityof the program would be provided in subsequent years if funding allows.
The proposed training model will provide a framework to enhance cooperation between regulators and the food industry to quickly determine the source, locate the product in question and rapidly deploy effective recall measures, actions so critical to protecting the public in response to unsafe food.