The University of Minnesota School of Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health have been selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a Food Safety Center of Excellence that will help prevent and respond to foodborne illnesses. The center will provide resources for state and local officials to improve food safety through better detection and investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) coauthored the bill establishing the centers nationwide to strengthen federal, state, and local officials’ ability to investigate outbreaks. Food safety surveillance procedures developed in Minnesota will serve as a model.
Minnesota’s Food Safety Center for Excellence will provide states that have fewer resources with support and training in conducting food safety surveillance and outbreak investigations. The CDC awarded the Minnesota Department of Health $199,970 to help create the center.
“Because outbreak investigations are the only way to identify new food safety hazards, the centers will have an important role to play in rapidly identifying and effectively responding to these new threats,” says School of Public Health professor and food safety expert Craig Hedberg, Ph.D.