July 18, 2018

Tennessee A Food Safety Center Of Excellence Site

Tennessee will be the site for one of five national Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence. The creation of these, which will identify best practices in foodborne disease surveillance and serve as public health resources, was mandated by tthe Food Safety Modernization Act. The other sites are Minnesota,  Oregon, Colorado and Florida.

cdc_logo1Funded by a $200,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the center will be a collaborative enterprise of the Tennessee Department of Health and the University of Tennessee. It will be be located on UT’s Knoxville campus.

“Surveillance and investigation of outbreaks of foodborne illness, along with our more than 70,000 annual inspections of food service facilities and extensive laboratory work, are vital areas in which we work to protect public health. We are proud of the recognition by this grant of our high-caliber work in Tennessee,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “This will further foster a great relationship with our University of Tennessee partners to help improve our efforts to control these outbreaks, prevent additional cases of illness and learn how to keep similar outbreaks from occurring in the future in Tennessee and across the country.”

The goal of the center will be to strengthen disease surveillance and outbreak investigation; to provide training to public health workers,future epidemiologists and food safety leaders; to conduct research and outreach activities and to provide food safety education.  “This is a unique opportunity to leverage the resources of our state health department and the university to improve food safety,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist John Dunn, DVM, PhD, is principal investigator on the award and adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

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