October 16, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich.Michigan State University is collaborating with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) to help enhance Saudi Arabias food-safety knowledge base and regulatory infrastructure through a professional development training program.
The initiative will involve several other U.S. educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and food industry specialists, most notably the Global Food Protection Institute, Battle Creek, Mich. The Institute, a nonprofit organization established in 2009, will deliver professional development training programs to Saudi Food and Drug Authority employees through their International Food Protection Training Institute.
This is an exciting opportunity to apply MSUs renowned international expertise in food safety to enhance Saudi Arabias knowledge base and regulatory infrastructure, said Frederik Derksen, professor and chairperson of MSUs food science and human nutrition department. Currently, at least 30 MSU scientists across 11 departments focus on food safety researchfrom pre-harvest food safety to food processing standards and policiesand nearly all have ongoing interdisciplinary research projects that have primed them for a collaborative, global initiative such as this.
MSUs new Saudi Arabia Food Safety Education-Training Initiative Office will coordinate several programs related to the effort, including:
Graduate education for Saudi Arabian food industry professionals.
Professional development training for Saudi Food and Drug Authority professionals through short-term, intensive learning experiences and internships.
Technical advising aimed at helping the Saudi agency improve its capacity to oversee food safety and expand their regulatory infrastructure.
Guidance in helping the SFDA establish a regional food-safety academy to continue building Saudi Arabias capacity to its improve food safety and security.
Collaborative research projects between MSU scientists and Saudi researchers focused on solving food safety issues relevant to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Region and the world.
The partnership with MSU will help in increasing our capacity as a national food safety regulator, According to Ibrahim Al-Mohizea, vice president of SFDA for food affairs and MSU alumnus. We are hopeful that this initiative will have a positive impact on the safety of food not only in Saudi Arabia, but also in the whole region.
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