The primary goal of Rapid Response Team (RRT) Implementation Project 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. This would be accomplished by: 1) improving and continuing rapid response capabilities;and 2) strengthening programmatic infrastructure through the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS). Unsafe food and feed poses a serious threat to human and animal health, the economy, and the environment. 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 Implementation Project plans to: 1. Improve rapid response capabilities, using the RRT concept, in collaboration with the FDA Detroit District Office, for both food and feed safety and laboratory programs. 2. Disseminate and integrate RRT best practices - beyond the existing core RRT group - 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. Achieve significant compliance with MFPRS by the end of the 2nd grant year by updating and implementing MFPRS corrective action plans. 4. Develop an RRT model that is transferable and easily replicated by other states.
The Food Protection Rapid Response Team and Program Infrastructure Improvement Prototype Project (RRT Prototype Project) 2008 allowed Michigan to lay the foundation for an integrated strategy for a sustained, multidisciplinary, multi-agency approach to protecting the food, feed and agriculture infrastructure. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) 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.