California Food Protection Rapid Response TeamProject Summary/AbstractThe mission of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Food and Drug Branch's (FDB), FoodSafety Program is to prevent and react to food and food-related problems and emergencies. Weaccomplish this with a combination of prevention efforts and active intervention and response throughoutthe entire food chain.To increase efficiency, communication, and effectiveness of investigations in response to food/feedemergencies (intentional or unintentional), CDPH in partnership with the U.S. Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) San Francisco and Los Angeles District Offices formed the California FoodEmergency Response Team (CalFERT) in 2005.Through this proposal, our primary objective is to further develop, implement, maintain and sustain amulti-jurisdictional rapid response team (i.e., CalFERT) and California's ability to rapidly respond to foodand feed emergencies. The proposal's Research Strategy as described addresses the six programobjectives and yearly milestones, listed in this funding opportunity, in accordance with the RapidResponse Team Program 5 Year Plan.Accomplishing the objectives entails sustaining two existing Rapid Response Team (RRT) positionsunder this grant to allow for uninterrupted continuation of RRT activities; strenghtening the program'sability to conduct investigations and exercises employing Incident Command System (ICS); continuingdevelopment and enhancement of CalFERT protocols including environmental assessments andenvironmental sampling; enhancing data capturing techniques and analytical approaches; purchasingadditional sampling equipment and supplies in support of responses; introducing new specializedtrainings on specific commodities and contamination sources; strengthening interagency collaboration,cooperation, coordination and communication with partners and stakeholders.Accordingly, we are requesting $300,000 in grant funds for each of the next three years. This wouldaugment current CDPH capabilities and facilitate long-term improvements necessary to conductenvironmental investigations, tracebacks, and enforcement activities during food and feed emergencies.Funding would also allow for critical trainings to sharpen internal skill set, improve the availability ofcritical resources, improve on post response and prevention activities, advance succession planning, andsustain CalFERT beyond this new grant period.CalFERT readiness to act in emergencies is critical. California is the nation's largest producer of manyimportant agricultural commodities including leafy greens, fruit, vegetable, and nut crops. A crisisimpacting those commodities would negatively impact millions of consumers in California, the nation, andthe world. The economic impact of such food emergencies can cost hundreds of millions of dollars dueto decreased demands for food commodities because of loss of consumer confidence in the food supply.
California Food Protection Rapid Response TeamProject Narrative The main goal of this proposed project is to further develop; implement; maintainand sustain a multi-jurisdictional rapid response team (i.e.; CalFERT); andCalifornia's ability to rapidly respond to food/feed emergencies. The outlinedactivities are intended to further enhance the State's Food Safety Program; andbetter align it with a national integrated food safety system. The proposedproject Research Plan addresses the six objectives and yearly milestones asdescribed in the Rapid Response Team Program 5 Year Plan. Achieving thegoal will better protect and improve the health of the public by assuring thatfoods/feed commodities are safe and are not adulterated.