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This interactive session is designed to highlight assessment as a type of quality assurance and continuous improvement of teaching and learning in food science. Its goal is to help food science faculty and administrators gain an understanding of basic principles of assessment as related to IFT program approval, as well as provide tools for effective assessment methods. Upon completion of the session, attendees will be able to discuss basic assessment practices and apply them in their own courses and programs. Attendees are encouraged to bring their course syllabi.
Recognizing that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to training, USDA NIFA and FDA CFSAN collaboratively established the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Program, as mandated in Section 209 of FSMA in 2015. As mandated in FSMA, this competitive grant program provides food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance to owners and operators of farms, small food processors, and small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grants issued through this program provide funding for a National Coordination Center (NCC) and four Regional Centers (RCs), to extend food safety education, training, and technical assistance to specific audiences.

To provide a variety of training formats shaped by product, region, size and other factors, USDA NIFA and FDA CFSAN added to the training infrastructure in 2016. USDA NIFA established the Food Safety Outreach competitive grant program (FSOP). The program has created 50 FSOP awards; 12 Multistate Education and Training Projects that support collaborations among states not necessarily located within the same regions, but having common food safety concerns, or addressing common commodities; 22 community outreach projects that support the growth and expansion of already existing food safety education and outreach programs currently offered in local communities; and 16 pilot projects that support the development of potentially high-risk and high-impact food safety education and outreach programs in local communities.

Simultaneously, FDA awarded the Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FSMA Compliance Cooperative Agreement to the National Farmers Union Foundation. The Native American Tribes Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FSMA Compliance Cooperative Agreement was also awarded to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to support the development of training curricula and delivery, in addition to education and outreach, among local foods producers and tribes, respectively.

This work builds upon an existing foundation created by the partnerships in the USDA and FDA FSMA Alliances, the Produce Safety Alliance, the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance, and the Sprout Safety Alliance, which were established in 2010-2012. The FSMA Collaborative Forum, which first convened in April 2017, has provided a venue for collaboration among the training providers, including JIFSAN and NASDA.

These efforts have strategically focused on the delivery of customized training to target audiences to match the diversity of the food producers. This symposium will share the current program priority and RFA solicitation for FSOP potential applicants, work of the national produce safety training landscape, and the possibilities underway to leverage the momentum as a national best practice.