Food Engineering

Food safety training lab opens in College Park, MD

October 12, 2011
The new lab is a joint effort of FDA, USDA, University of Maryland and Waters Corp.


The US Food and Drug Administration, University of Maryland, their Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) and Waters Corporation opened the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL), a public-private partnership that applies government, university and private industry expertise and resources to the global food safety challenge.

IFSTL (www.ifstl.org) is a permanent food safety lab that provides hands-on lab training on detection methods and classroom lessons on regulatory standards, educating governments and food exporters so they can ensure food is safe before it reaches the table. This will enable food safety standards to rise globally.

FDA has publicly identified the need for government and private industry to work together. IFSTL will provide critical support to helping FDA and foreign food producers meet requirements, such as the US Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law earlier this year.

“FDA looks forward to this opportunity to build global laboratory capacity. The International Food Safety Training laboratory will help to address food safety challenges worldwide through training and technical assistance,” says Michael Landa, director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA.

US government scientists from FDA and USDA, along with university experts, will lead intensive training focused on detecting both chemical and microbiological contaminants, preparing and testing samples according fit-for-purpose methods that allow scientists to validate and use results to make the right decisions about whether food is safe and meets regulations. Trainees can sign up for courses that address a specific issue of concern to the US and global communities. IFSTL will have the ability to teach 200 professionals per year and will be operated by JIFSAN.

Waters served as the driving force behind the creation of IFSTL through a multi-year commitment to fund the laboratory’s construction, provide analytical systems and assist JIFSAN and FDA in designing training programs.