The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is focusing on food safety as a top priority. Ahealthy food system begins on the farm and ends with healthy communities. The foundationof a healthy food system is food safety and requires preventative measures be in place toensure safe food products are entering the marketplace. Proactive and responsiveapproaches can lead to early detection and identification of potential food safety concerns.Education, outreach and inter-agency cooperation can assist in mitigating or minimizingharmful food safety effects.Missouri's agricultural diversity includes 107,825 farms, 3 million swine, over 3 million cattle,4,448 egg retailers, 764 egg dealers, 8 processors, as well as 1,445 total permitted andlicensed dairy farms, including goat and sheep with the Missouri State Milk Board. There are96,000 farms smaller than 180 acres with 89% of them producing less than $100,000 peryear. The diversity requires multi-faceted, aggressive, and cohesive strategies to food safetyand business development that will provide the safest and highest quality foods with the bestvalue to both consumers and producers.In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food andDrug Administration (FDA), the MDA proposes to enhance proactive Department food safetyresponse efforts. FDA funds provide training for inspectors, outreach agents and producersin the assessment of food storage, processing, and distribution facilities in order to identifyhigh risk areas for the introduction of raw materials containing viral, fungal, and bacterialcontaminants. As part of this effort, FDA funding will be used to hire a food safetycoordinator to develop, implement and provide oversight of a strategic plan with quantifiablemilestones, benchmarks, targets and performance measures for the first three years, untillong-term funding is secured.As a result of this cooperative effort, MDA will have a skilled and trained staff along withinformed and educated producers equipped with the necessary tools to identify and respondto food safety critical control points and implement essential food safety preventativemeasures.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is focusing on food safety as a top priority. A healthy food system begins on the farm and ends with healthy communities. The foundation of a healthy food system is food safety and requires preventative measures be in place to ensure safe food products are entering the marketplace.