Iowa State University is being picked to serve as a regional center for food safety to help businesses that grow and process food comply with new federal regulations in the coming years.
Angela Shaw, an ISU professor of food science and human nutrition, says the new center will provide guidance to growers and processors in Iowa and 11 other Midwestern states.
Shaw says the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act has been key in strengthening the nation’s food safety.
“We’re going to be doing a needs assessment across all of the states to see what exactly the growers and processors need to become in compliance with this new rule,” Shaw says, “which equates to the consumer as, them doing a better job at what they’re currently doing.”
Shaw notes, the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011. “So, it’s been five years that they’ve been working to find out the current status of the food industry and some of their needs,” she says. “They’ve really been taking their time with writing this rule and making sure that all food companies are going to be able to come into compliance with it.”
Shaw says she’s pleased the FDA chose the institution in Ames.
“We’ve been doing this work for food safety, specifically with produce, for over ten years here at Iowa State,” Shaw says. “It was a great relief to see that we’re being recognized for our work and that we can assist the whole Midwest with insuring that their food, as well as ours, is safe.”
The Food and Drug Administration awarded ISU a three-year, $950,000 grant to establish the new North Central Regional Center for Food Safety Training.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City