The WV Food Safety and Defense Task Force is an assembled group of 30 individuals with varying food safety and defense expertise. The Task Force routinely meets twice per year to collaborate on innovations in food safety, as well as various topics of interest related to food. The Task Force meets in different locations in the state in order to include additional local health department representation at the meetings. The Task Force meetings are well attended. The participants are representatives from Industry, Academia, Local and State Regulators and Consumers. Industry representatives are from small independent food operators and large chain firms as well as small food processors. Long term goals of the Task Force are: Relationship building between Regulators and Industry Review Food Code changes and make forward progress in adopting the most up to date Model Food Code Learn about and share information on advances in Food Safety and Defense Collaborate on various initiatives in the food arena, i.e. Farm to School programs The Task Force uses consensus as a means of agreement on issues of discussion and a method of moving forward recommendations for changes in policy or procedure of the Food Program at the Local and State level. The Task Force will be focusing on food defense and intentional food contamination in the next budget period. Panel discussions are often used to bring forward information from several presenters on the same subject. All participants will have the opportunity to provide information and to ask questions of the panel. The Task Force will also continue to review recommendations from the Conference for Food Protection and FDA for changes to WV food establishment regulations. Collaborative efforts of the Task Force participants will positively impact the health of all food consumers in WV. Policy and regulations are revised based on deliberations within the Task Force. Food safety awareness campaigns brought about through the Task Force will enhance the ability of the consumer to protect themselves and their family.
The Food Safety and Defense Task Force in WV draw together persons who individually impact a segment of the food supply. However, as part of the Task Force the impact that they make affects all consumers in WV. The safety and quality of food is improved as a result of the Task Force providing a collaborative atmosphere for food safety deliberations.