The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) announced this week that it has trained 1,138 food safety regulators, exceeding its training goal of 1,000 officials for 2010.  

The institute is a non-profit organization that provides standards-based food protection training to state and local food safety officials.  The institute’s training is meant to assure state and local food protection professionals are competent and consistent in meeting established U.S. federal food safety standards.

Gerald Wojtala, IFPTI’s executive director, said the institute hopes to double its impact and train 2,000 to 3,000 food protection regulatory and public health officials in 2011, depending on the availability of funding in the federal budget.

Of the 2010 trainees, 75 percent hold federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government regulator posts.  Within the group, 47 of 50 states were represented and members of academia, industry and other international representatives were also present.

The training included scheduled courses as well as what the Institute calls emergency “just-in-time” training for regulatory agencies and industries affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Working with FDA, IFPTI is building the training infrastructure for the national integrated food safety system.  Specifically, the organization is focused on achieving four strategic objectives:

-Developing a training network to provide technical, management, and leadership training to regulatory and public health officials.

-Serving as the hub for the administration of that network.

-Developing and delivering standards-based training programs not currently offered.

-Building an instructor cadre to ensure the availability of highly trained instructors within regulatory and public health agencies across all jurisdictions. 

The institute is a member of the Global Food Protection Institute.

Its training facilities are located in Battle Creek, Michigan at the Kendall Center on the Western Michigan University’s campus.  Initial funding for IFPTI was provided by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.