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JIFSAN Offers New Global Food Law and Regulation Course

Participants interested in food safety had the opportunity to take part in the new “Introduction to Global Food Law and Regulation” course that started on September 29, 2014. The Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Risk Analysis Program launched the three-day course to educate participants on food safety regulations related to the production and importation/exportation of food.

While a five-day version of the course took place in Malaysia last year, this was the first time JIFSAN offered the course in the U.S. Twelve participants from the FDA, private and public sectors, and even other countries registered for the course. Director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, Dr. Robert Buchanan, and Research Scientist and Manager for the Risk Analysis Program, Dr. Clare Narrod, led the course, which consisted of lectures and break-out exercises.

Narrod said the course is designed for those involved in exporting products around the world, whether they are involved in regulation or private-sector.

“We’re trying to introduce the participants to the regulatory processes and laws from different countries,” Narrod said, “People right now are interested in learning how these laws are changing and what it takes to get a product into a country.”

Learning about global food law and regulation is important, but it can be difficult to follow the constant changes.

“Keeping up with laws and regulations internationally is a significant challenge,” noted Buchanan, “In this course we are trying to focus on the public policy concepts and principles that are the basis for the food safety laws and regulations in the international trading of foods, allowing the participants to evaluate the basis for rapidly changing regulatory frameworks.”

JIFSAN recognizes the United States’ increased dependence on imported foods as it struggles to meet the agricultural and seasonal food product demands. In fact, U.S. demand for imported food has tripled over the last ten years. Along with the demand for seasonal food year round, there is a demand for increased food safety. A rise in household incomes, improvements in technology to measure contaminants, and increased consumer and media attention on food-borne illness risks have all led to countries like the United States improving food safety laws and approaches on domestically-produced and imported food.

This course will be offered again during fall 2015. If you are interested in attending this training course or any of JIFSAN’s other upcoming courses and would like additional information, contact the Risk Analysis Program at 301-405-1780, or email Dr. Narrod at cnarrod@umd.edu. Registration occurs online at risk.jifsan.umd.edu/registration.