The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) received a grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help strengthen interagency collaboration in the national food safety system, the AFDO announced. Under the $500,000 grant, the AFDO will work with the FDA to promote long-term changes to the national food safety system that will help public agencies cooperate in the event of food safety threats, according to the AFDO.
The AFDO and the FDA will establish a network of manufactured food program managers and will host an annual meeting to build operational and strategic partnerships.
“This award will allow AFDO to enhance their current activities, such as maintaining the Directory of State and Local Officials, Registry of Subject Matter Experts, Topical Index to Regulatory Guidance, [and] Program Manager Information Portal, and conducting the State Food Safety Resource Survey,” Joe Corby, executive director of AFDO, told Food Quality.
The Alliance for Advancing a National Integrated Food Safety System, funded by the grant, will include food safety program managers who supervise the inspection of food manufacturing and distribution facilities. Through the cooperative agreement, the AFDO and the FDA will establish a network of manufactured food program managers and will host an annual meeting to build operational and strategic partnerships, the AFDO announced. In addition, the AFDO and the FDA will implement pilot projects to support adoption of manufactured food regulatory program standards and will collaborate with other partners to identify, develop, and deliver food safety and defense training programs.
The grant was awarded following a competition announced in June. The goal of the funding opportunity was “to assist the FDA in meeting provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act,” according to the funding opportunity description, and to “support the efforts of federal, state, and local government agencies to integrate the national food safety system; implement pilot projects between states and FDA Districts for the purpose of demonstrating effective integration of resources and authorities; establish a network system to better access and share food safety information and data; [and] assist FDA in the identification, development, and/or delivery of food safety and defense training programs.”