The Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence (CoE) pairs the department and the university to prevent and control foodborne diseases across New York State and the Northeast.
The center is the sixth in the US and will support response for 11 states in the Northeast from Maryland to Maine. Other centers are in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, and Tennessee
They assist local, state and federal health officials respond to foodborne disease outbreaks by providing competency-based training, technical assistance, performance management and program evaluation activities.
Dr Martin Wiedmann, the Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety, will co-direct the center, with Andie Newman and Shelley Zansky of the state health department.
“The major issue these centers try to address is making sure that, at the state level, there’s appropriate expertise to detect foodborne disease outbreaks, trace them back to the source, and then use that information to prevent future outbreaks,” he said.
DOH will work with Cornell University on a needs assessment of food safety professionals in the region which will help inform the development of a symposium at Cornell University this year.
The states were selected by the CDC as part of a competitive application process.
Richard A. Ball, New York State agriculture and markets commissioner, said it will build on existing efforts in prevention and control of foodborne diseases and put New York State on the map when it comes to food safety and security.
“New York has some of the best research facilities in the country, such as Cornell University, and a state-of-the-art food laboratory and staff that are on the cutting-edge of critical work to keep our food safe.”