International Food Protection Training Institute Sponsors Inaugural "Emerging Issues In Food Protection" Seminar

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Public Health and Food Regulatory Officials, Emergency Management Personnel, and Rapid Response Team Attend Seminar Covering "The Expanding Role of Environmental Sampling in Food Protection"

The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) announced that it inaugurated its "Emerging Issues in Food Protection" seminar series by co-sponsoring the presentation of, "The Changing Faces of Environmental Sampling," by Donald L. Zink, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, to more than 70 food regulators and food emergency responders. Seminar co-sponsors included the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Department of Community Health, Association of Food and Drug Officials, and Western Michigan University. The W. K. Kellogg Foundation is funding the start-up activities of the Institute.

IFPTI's vision of an integrated national food protection system that ensures the safety of the U.S. food supply is dependent upon building capacity and strengthening the role of state and local food protection agencies. The inaugural Emerging Issues in Food Protection seminar, held August 25, 2009 at Western Michigan University's Kendall Center, provided local, state, and federal public health and food regulatory officials, emergency management personnel, and Rapid Response Team (charged with responding to food and feed emergencies) with the latest information on the rapidly evolving role of environmental sampling in food protection and emergency response.

In addition to Dr. Zink's presentation, attendees heard presentations from Brad Deacon, Michigan Dept of Agriculture; Joann Givens, FDA-Rapid Response Team; Roberta Wagner, FDA-Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; and Stephen Benoit, National Center for Food Protection.

In October 2009, the Institute will offer courses in "Applications of Basics of Inspection and Investigation" and "Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)" in both "trainee" and "train-the-trainer" formats. Most costs associated with course registration, materials, meals, and travel are expected to be covered by the Institute in order to provide much-needed assistance to State and local regulatory agencies. Registration information can be found at: http://www.ifpti.org or http://www.afdo.org.

IFPTI's inaugural training course, "Managing Retail Food Safety," was offered in July 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Division of Human Resource Deployment's ORA U.

About IFPTI
The International Food Protection Institute (IFPTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization delivering career-spanning certified food protection training to state, local, tribal and territorial food protection professionals that meets established U.S. federal food safety standards. Through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and working in partnership with the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the Institute seeks to protect the public's health by working with Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial food protection officials in the creation of an integrated national food protection system that ensures the safety of the U.S. food supply.

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930. The organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. For further information on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, please visit the Foundation's website at http://www.wkkf.org. Inquiries about the Foundation can be directed to Joanne Krell, Vice President Communications.

About AFDO
The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), established in 1896, successfully fosters uniformity in the adoption and enforcement of science-based food, drug, medical devices, cosmetics and product safety laws, rules and regulations by either drafting regulatory rules or by commenting on government proposals. By developing a broad base of support for new approaches, AFDO has become a recognized voice in determining the rules and shape of the regulatory playing field of the future. The consensus that AFDO develops is key to advancing uniform laws, regulations, and guidelines that result in more efficient regulation and less confusion among industry in the marketplace. AFDO develops support for its positions by interfacing with high-level regulatory officials, industry representatives, trade associations, and consumer organizations. This continues to have a significant impact on regulations at the federal, state and local level. More information about AFDO can be found on its website at http://www.afdo.org. Inquiries about AFDO can be directed to AFDO's Executive Director Joseph Corby.

About Donald L. Zink, Ph.D.
Dr. Zink is Senior Science Advisor for the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Dr. Zink received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Abilene Christian University, a Master of Science in Microbiology from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M University. After graduate school, Dr. Zink was a member of the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M. In 1980, he moved to the University of Arizona where he was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Food Science and Nutrition. In 1983, Dr. Zink began his food industry career with Campbell Soup Company research and development organization. In 1990, Dr. Zink moved to the Carnation Company (a Division of Nestlé) as Manager of Food Safety for the company's refrigerated foods division and a year later became Director of Food Safety for Nestlè USA. Dr. Zink left Nestlé in 2000 to become the Vice-President of Food Safety and Research and Development for Future Beef Operations. In 2002, Dr. Zink joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Senior Food Scientist and in 2009 became the Senior Science Advisor for the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Dr. Zink is active in professional scientific organizations and has served on numerous advisory committees. He currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological criteria for foods.

SOURCE -- International Food Protection Training Institute

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