The primary goal of Michigan's Rapid Response Team (RRT) is to further develop the integrated strategy for sustained, multi-disciplinary, and replicable regional protection of the food, feed and related agricultural infrastructure existing in Michigan. Over the first five years of the RRT effort, Michigan has greatly improved our rapid response capabilities and strengthened our programmatic infrastructure through development of plans and procedures as well training, exercising, real world responses, and working through the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) process. Michigan has made tremendous progress particularly in the areas of coordination with state and local public health agencies and in feed safety. Michigan, both a border state and home of the second busiest truck border crossing point in the nation, faces special challenges across the food, feed and agriculture supply chain from the volume of goods coming into the State. The vulnerabilities to food safety-whether the introduction is intentional or accidental-continue to grow as international commerce increases. The Michigan RRT will continue to: 1. Improve rapid response capabilities, using the RRT concept, in collaboration with the FDA Detroit District Office, for safety and laboratory programs for both food and feed. 2. Continue dissemination and integration of RRT best practices and MDARD specific SOPs within the MDARD Food Inspection, Commercial Feed and Laboratory programs. This includes providing role-appropriate training in support of plans and procedures with both MDARD and FDA Detroit District Office staff. 3. Continue to work with Pennsylvania and other RRT and non-RRT states to help develop and replicate the RRT successes.
The Food Protection Rapid Response Team funding support has allowed Michigan to build an integrated strategy for a sustained, multidisciplinary, multi-agency approach to protect human and animal health through food and feed safety efforts. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has, given the diversity and scope of the food and agricultural infrastructure, demonstrated that rapid response capacities for food and feed emergencies are best developed through the active engagement of individuals with a wide range of expertise in order to protect the public health, environment, and economy.