The President’s 2011 federal budget was amended to include an $8 million request to fund the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), Congressman Mark Schauer (D-MI) announced yesterday.

The request is significantly greater than the $1 million approved in the 2010 federal budget, and will allow IFPTI to greatly expand its current training initiatives.

In partnership with the Association of Food & Drug Officials, and in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), IFPTI has trained approximately 300 food protection professionals from more than 30 states.

With its 2010 budget resources, IFPTI expects to train an additional 1,000 state and local food protection professionals in 2010 and with the additional funding, the Institute would have the capacity to train up to 2,000 to 3,000 food safety officials in 2011.

“We are extremely encouraged by the President’s recognition of the need to invest in an integrated national food safety system,” said Stephen Benoit, President & COO of the IFPTI. “Training programs like those delivered at IFPTI are essential to ensuring that state and local food protection agencies have the capacity and competencies they need to fulfill their vital role in protecting the nation’s food supply.”

“We are very appreciative of Congressman Schauer’s tireless efforts in support of the Institute’s mission to improve food safety,” added Benoit.

IFPTI, located in Congressman Schauer’s district, in Battle Creek, Michigan, opened in 2009.  The institute is a 509(c)3 non-profit organization that provides certified food protection training programs that meet established U.S. federal food safety standards to state, local, tribal, and territorial food protection professionals.

Rep. Schauer has been working on food safety institute funding for years. “I’m relieved,” Schauer told a local Michigan news outlet. “This was a long time coming.”

“It means that the President of the United States has recognized that Battle Creek, Michigan is the center for food safety,” added Schauer.