The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is encouraged by the $1 million appropriation on its way to President Obama’s desk for the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI). This institute has the potential to become a world-class center for food safety, research and the food sciences by providing rigorous training for food safety inspectors across the country.
Currently, state employees perform over half of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections at domestic food processing plants. Yet, there are no mandatory federal training requirements for these food protection professionals and training varies widely by state.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. due to food pathogens; and about one of every four Americans will develop a food borne illness each year. IFPTI is the nation’s only organization delivering career-spanning, certified food protection training to state, local, tribal and territorial food protection professionals and helping to create an effective, integrated national food safety system.
According to a statement released by the Foundation this critical funding supports the fact that better trained inspectors will help safeguard the national food supply – protecting the health and well-being of the nation’s children and families – while bringing new opportunities to the area for education, learning, internships, research, and employment.