With new federal regulations for growing and processing food coming, Iowa State University has received a grant from the federal Food and Drug Administration to host a new regional center for food safety.
The $950,000 grant, over three years, will allow the university to establish the new North Central Regional Center for Food Safety Training, which will offer
guidance on current and future regulations for processors and growers across 12 Midwestern states. The effort will be led by Angela Shaw, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, who said new technology has helped with documentation of more foodborne outbreaks, creating a need for changes to food safety rules.
The FDA signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011 and will be increasing efforts to prevent food-borne illnesses through stricter rules related to safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables. The act also lays out regulations for creating a national center, as well as four regional centers, one of which will be at Iowa State.
The size of the firm determines the date of compliance for new rules, as larger companies will have more resources to effect compliance, Shaw said. Shaw also said smaller firms will find it more difficult to achieve full compliance because they don't have the same resources.
Located in Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University was founded in 1858 and has 36,001 students.