The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has won $600,000 in grants from the US Food and Drug Administration to enhance the state’s food safety capabilities.
The three-year grant will go towards funding initiatives that will improve the ability to trace contaminated foods to retailers and distributors. The MDA said the investment would help bolster its efforts to ensure recalled products are quickly and fully withdrawn from the marketplace.
“Minnesota has developed a national reputation for leadership in food safety thanks to a strong collaboration between the MDA, the Minnesota Department of Health, the University of Minnesota and our federal and local partners,” said MDA commissioner Dave Frederickson.
“We are grateful for these grants because they will further strengthen our food safety capabilities here and across the country.”
MDA intends to use part of the cash to explore the use of web-based technologies to improve the flow of information between the food industry and regulatory agencies.
According to MDA dairy and food division director Heidi Kassenborg, the grant award also enables MDA to share its project innovations with food safety officials across the country.
“Every minute we can shave off the time it takes to trace contaminated products and get them off the shelves means fewer people getting sick,” Kassenborg said.
“These proposals are focused on developing and sharing processes that improve information flow during a foodborne illness investigation and we believe that will translate into better food safety for people around the country.”