International food safety training laboratory

September 19, 2011

University of Maryland's Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, supported by Waters, has opened a new International Food Safety Training Laboratory, to give technicians who test imports to the US intensive, hands-on lab training in US government methods, standards and technology, as well as acceptable alternatives.

University of Maryland's Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, supported by Waters, has opened a new International Food Safety Training Laboratory, to give technicians who test imports to the US intensive, hands-on lab training in US government methods, standards and technology, as well as acceptable alternatives.

"The more we can get foreign food facilities to harmonize their procedures and their work with US requirements, the greater the likelihood of safe imported foods reaching American consumers," says the University of Maryland's Janie Dubois, who directs the new laboratory. "The FDA can only inspect a tiny fraction of all imports, so food should enter the country safe, well-tested and up to our standards."

According to the university, food laboratory workers will learn US-recommended microbiological and chemical analysis methods directly from regulators at the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies. Also, the training will give students a chance to discuss acceptable, alternate analytical methods that regulators call "fit-for-purpose."

"We've gotten enthusiastic responses from a number of developing countries because they see the potential benefits for both their export and domestic markets," Dubois says. "JIFSAN is already actively training overseas, and this facility gives us the chance to further contribute to the harmonization of international food-handling and testing standards."

Waters has provided liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry equipment for the measurement of the presence of multiple pesticide residues simultaneously.

"Waters Corporation is committed to bridging the gap between governments and industry to ensure the best science and most innovative technologies are used to make our food safe," says the company’s corporation chairman, president and CEO Douglas A. Berthiaume. "We are proud to join with the University of Maryland to create this laboratory that will bolster the capabilities of both the FDA and our global partners as we work together to improve food safety."

For more information on the laboratory visit http://jifsan.umd.edu/ifstl/index.php