Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack paid a visit to the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) in Battle Creek, Michigan Monday to highlight the institute’s contribution to food safety.

The institute uses the first-ever national food protection curriculum to train food protection professionals at all levels of government, in an effort to standardized food safety practices.  Since IFTPI launched in 2009, it has trained over 1,700 highly skilled food safety inspectors from 49 states.

“The International Food Protection Training Institute has made Battle Creek the national leader in food safety,” said Stabenow, who was instrumental in launching the project, which receives funding from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The training being done at the Institute is preparing thousands of food safety professionals who are on the front lines protecting our food supply and keeping our families safe,” added Stabenow.

“We are grateful for the commitment that Senator Stabenow and Secretary Vilsack have made to protect the nation’s food supply,” said Dr. Julia Bradsher, president and CEO of the Global Food Protection Institute, the global project that established IFPTI. “Training programs, delivered at IFPTI, are essential to ensuring that food protection agencies have the skills they need to identify and prevent potential risks.”
Jerry Wojtala, IFPTI’s executive director, told Food Safety News last year that the institute aims to help implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which emphasizes the need for greater coordination on the state, local, and federal levels.

“We think it’s important to integrate state and local agencies in a national food safety system, and really the only way you can assure that integration is successful is to assess and to train,” said Wojtala. “We really think training is one of the key components in integration.”
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