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    Institute for
    Food Safety
    and Health

    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Moffett Campus
    6502 South Archer Rd.
    Bedford Park, IL 60501-1957
    (P) 708.563.1576

    Press Releases

    2012

    IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health Announces Sprout Safety Alliance Website Launch (.pdf)

    (Bedford Park, IL) June 15, 2012 – Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH) is pleased to announce the launch of the Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA) website, www.iit.edu/ifsh/sprout_safety.

    IIT IFSH is coordinating the national alliance, a public-private partnership funded by a cooperative grant through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Foods. The SSA is designed to assist sprout growers and producers in identifying and implementing best practices in the safe production of sprouts. The alliance will develop a core curriculum and training and outreach programs for stakeholders in the sprout production community. 

    The SSA web pages, hosted by IIT IFSH, feature a range of sprout safety resources and educational materials, committee and working group rosters, government and industry links, upcoming event listings, and more.

    "SSA's online presence is a vital part of our education and outreach toolbox," said Stephen Grove, PhD, IIT IFSH Industry Projects Manager and SSA co-coordinator. "The website is designed to help stakeholders quickly and easily find best practices and training resources."

    IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health Launches FDA Funded Sprout Safety Alliance (.pdf)

    February 28, 2012 – Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH) will coordinate the Sprout Safety Alliance (SSA) designed to assist sprout growers and producers in identifying and implementing best practices in the safe production of sprouts.

    The Sprout Safety Alliance is a one-year, $100,000 partnership grant funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Foods through the IIT IFSH-FDA collaborative agreement. The alliance will be housed at IIT IFSH, which introduced in 2011 a groundbreaking audit checklist to improve sprout safety along with on-site beta test results validating its effectiveness in a real-world setting via the institute's Sprout Safety Task Force.

    The new public-private organization will develop core curriculum, training and outreach programs for stakeholders in the sprout production community to enhance the industry's understanding and implementation of pending sprout safety regulatory requirements.

    "Sprouts present a unique food safety challenge due to the warm, moist and nutrient-rich conditions required for their production," said IIT Vice President and IFSH Director Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D. "For example, certain food safety practices used by sprout growers and sprout seed and bean producers, such as testing spent irrigation water and pre-sprouting seed disinfection procedures, are unique to this commodity. The Sprout Safety Alliance coordinated by IIT IFSH will foster scientific collaboration in an effort to enhance food safety action items, training and regulatory compliance for this industry sector."

    The education and outreach efforts of the Sprout Safety Alliance, Brackett continues, will be directed toward assisting producers in this specific category within the produce sector to enhance safety now and comply with upcoming regulations, when final. The SSA's objectives are to:

    ·      Develop training materials that assist sprouters in adopting best practices for the safe production of sprouts based on available FDA guidance documents and other information

    ·      Provide tools to assist growers in conducting self-audits of their sprouting facilities and production practices to minimize microbial hazards associated with sprouts

    ·      Develop training materials that facilitate industry understanding of risks associated with sprouts, current mitigation practices, and implementation of the sprout-related requirements in the upcoming produce safety regulation, when final

    ·      Serve as a network hub and resource for the sprout industry, buyers, retailers, and federal and state regulatory agencies

    ·      Develop a technical assistance network for the sprout industry

    ·      Collaborate with USDA, states, trade associations and land-grant university extension services to provide classroom and distance training and workshops for stakeholders across the U.S.

    The alliance coordinators are Stephen Grove, Ph.D., IIT IFSH Manager, Industry Projects, and Joy Johanson, MPH, Consumer Safety Officer, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN). The SSA Steering Committee consists of representatives from IIT IFSH, federal and state government agencies, academia, and trade associations. Development of subcommittees, governance and structure of the SSA are in progress.

    IIT IFSH will host web pages for the alliance's progress updates. Materials are expected to become available in mid-March 2012.

    For more information on the SSA and other FDA-related Alliances, please visit www.fda.gov/fsma.


    2011

    IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health Receives FDA Funding for Preventive Controls Alliance and Training (.pdf)

    December 21, 2011 – Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH) will coordinate a national food safety alliance designed to assist the human and animal food industry in complying with upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)-related preventive control regulations.

    The new Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) is a one-year, $1 million partnership grant funded by the FDA Office of Foods through the IIT-IFSH-FDA collaborative agreement. Funding has been allocated to the development of a standardized industry-oriented training curriculum, including hands-on and web-based training modules. The curriculum will be widely available to those who will provide training to the industry. IIT IFSH also will establish a distance learning training portal at its Bedford Park, IL-based campus.

    The FSPCA will provide and disseminate the technical and scientific basis for identifying hazards associated with specific food commodities and industry sectors per the FSMA regulations. The group will also develop preventive control models for major industry sectors, and provide guidance to industry for maintaining preventive controls.

    In 2012, the FDA is expected to issue a proposed rule on the hazard analysis and preventive control measures for food facilities. The FSPCA initiatives are designed to provide U.S. food facilities, particularly small- and medium-sized companies, the science-based information required for compliance with these pending regulations, said IIT Vice President and IFSH Director Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D.

    “IIT's Institute of Food Safety and Health is particularly well-placed to coordinate the activities of this vital alliance,” said Brackett. “With key provisions related to the preventive controls component of the FSMA coming to the fore next year, the time is now for all stakeholders to work together to ensure that all food companies, no matter their size, have access to the education and training that will be needed to ensure compliance.”

    The goal of the alliance, Brackett added, is to serve even the smallest companies wherever they are based. "The new learning portal that IIT IFSH will establish through the alliance will be invaluable in reaching such companies with practical compliance information."

    The alliance's organizing committee recently began the process of steering committee selection at its first face-to-face meeting Dec. 20-21, 2011, at the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington, DC.

    "In addition to IIT IFSH and FDA officials, the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance steering committee will include representatives from stakeholder groups in academia, human and animal food industry trade and scientific associations, and government," said Purnendu C. Vasavada, Ph.D., FDA ORISE Fellow and FSPCA coordinator. "We expect that the steering committee will be named and announced by the end of the year, and technical working groups formed by mid-January 2012."

    Vasavada also reported the group's significant progress in a number of areas, including formalizing agreement on alliance management and organizational structure, creating a work plan and timeline for technical working group assignments, and drafting a list of proposed mechanisms for development of the training curriculum.

    C. Patrick Dunne Named 2011 IFSH Award Winner (.pdf)

    Bedford Park, IL (Oct. 11, 2011)- The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has awarded its prestigious 2011 IFSH Award to C. Patrick Dunne, Ph.D., Senior Research Chemist and Senior Advisor, Nutritional Biochemistry and Advanced Processing at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center.

    The presentation of the engraved glass statuette was made at the IFSH Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus in Oak Brook, IL.

    IFSH, formerly the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), presents its annual award to recognize the achievements of an individual member in the field of food science and technology who has made outstanding contributions to food safety or nutrition across government, academia and industry. Nominations are evaluated by a selection panel consisting of representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), IIT, and the food industry. 

    "Dr. Dunne has done an outstanding job for the cause of food safety for our military personnel," said Jonathan W. DeVries, co-chair of the award selection committee. "Further, he has done so by collaborating with key food safety organizations such as NCFST/IFSH to investigate potential improvements in food safety via processing and procedures. He has focused on collaboration to assess new innovations for their efficacy, applicability, practicality, and cost effectiveness as the best means of minimizing food safety risks for those who serve with him in the military." 

    DeVries noted that among his many notable achievements, Dunne was the leader of three very successful academic-industry consortia under the Department of Defense's (DoD) Dual Use Science & Technology (DUST) program for advanced food processing technologies. One of these was a ground-breaking effort at NCFST. In particular, he was a key collaborator in the effort of obtaining a U.S. FDA filing for thermally assisted (mild), high pressure sterilization of low acid foods. The pressure-assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) process not only results in sterile food products, but preserves many of the desirable attributes of the foods that are lost during more vigorous thermal processing (i.e., at higher temperatures or for longer hold times). 

    As a result of this successful effort, NCFST was awarded a prestigious Institute of Food Technologists' Expo Innovation Award in 2009.

    "His extensive contributions in the field of food safety," said DeVries, "from sound scientific and innovative approaches to novel food preservation systems, to sharing his vast technical expertise in guiding multiple initiatives with academia and industry to improve foods for the nation's Warfighters, truly typifies an IFSH Award winner, who promotes collaborative research for the benefit of food safety for all."

    Dunne joins the IFSH Award Hall of Fame, which includes Jonathan W. DeVries, PhD, General Mills (2005), Michael Cirigliano, PhD, Unilever (2006), Richard Whiting, PhD, U.S. FDA CFSAN (2007), Katherine M.J. Swanson, PhD, Ecolab (2008), Paul A. Hall, PhD, AIV Microbiology & Food Safety Consultants, LLC (2009), and Daniel G. Brown, Hormel Foods (2010).


    Secretary of Agriculture Announces $25 Million Norovirus Collaborative Grant (.pdf)

    (Milwaukee, WI) August 3, 2011 – The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), is one of more than 30 institutions awarded a $25 million collaborative grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to strengthen food safety by studying human noroviruses across the food supply chain in an effort to design effective control measures and reduce the number of virus-caused foodborne illnesses.

    IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health Launch Event Attracts More Than 100 Visitors (.pdf)

    April 18, 2011 – The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), celebrated its official opening with keynote commentary from IIT, state and federal dignitaries and a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 11. More than 100 guests attended the event held in the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) pilot plant from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    IFSH/NCFST and CSIRO Sign Five-Year Memorandum of Understanding (.pdf)

    April 11, 2011 – The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), today announced that its principal operating center, the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), has entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

    IFSH and USDA-ARS Sign Five-Year Memorandum of Understanding (.pdf)

    April 11, 2011 – The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), today announced that it has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to develop and enhance cooperative farm-to-fork research initiatives. 

    Institute for Food Safety and Health Launches New Website (.pdf)

    April 7, 2011 – The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), formerly the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), announced today the launch of its new website, www.iit.edu/ifsh.

    Inaugural Event Marks Official Opening of Institute for Food Safety and Health at IIT (.pdf)

    April 6, 2011 – An inaugural launch event will mark the National Center for Food Safety and Technology's (NCFST) transition to a principal operating center within the newly formed Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The IFSH inaugural opening and tour will take place on Monday, April 11, from 10:00 am – noon at IIT's Moffett Campus in Bedford Park, IL.


    2010

    Robert E. Brackett Named Director of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) (.pdf)

    June 10, 2010 – Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D. has been named by President John Anderson as the new director and vice president of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Brackett will be responsible for management of the center and will continue to improve its stature as a national and international leader in the field. Brackett will report directly to IIT’s Provost, Dr. Alan W. Cramb.

    Hormel Foods Veteran Daniel G. Brown Receives 2010 NCFST Award (.pdf)

    April 7, 2010 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), presented its prestigious 2010 NCFST Award to Daniel G. Brown, a 37-year veteran of Hormel Foods Corp., at the consortium’s Mid-Year Meeting held in Burr Ridge, IL, April 6-7, 2010.


    2009

    NCFST Issues Call for New Members as High Pressure Processing Consortium Forms (.pdf)

    December 22, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), the leading food research institute in high pressure processing (HPP) technology, announced today that it has formed a new HPP working group to drive forward scientific advances and commercial applications for industry. NCFST is inviting food packaging and product companies interested in capitalizing on this business development enterprise to join as members.


    NCFST Director to Become New Chief of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Australia’s CSIRO (.pdf)

    November 5, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), announced today that Martin Cole, PhD, Director, will be leaving NCFST to become Chief of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences (FNS) in Sydney, Australia. He will begin his duties in January 2010.


    NCFST PATS Process Wins 2009 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award (.pdf)

    June 7, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), is pleased to announce that the consortium’s pressure assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) process won an IFT Food Expo Innovation Award at the 2009 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Anaheim.


    NCFST, US Army Offer PATS Technology Sneak Peak and Spuds Samples at IFT Food Expo (.pdf)

    June 7, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), will give a special 15-minute presentation today showcasing the 2009 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award-winning pressure assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) process at the 2009 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Anaheim.


    AIV Microbiology’s Paul Hall Receives 2009 NCFST Award for Food Safety (.pdf)

    March 27, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), presented its prestigious 2009 NCFST Food Safety Award to Paul A. Hall, PhD, president and COO of AIV Microbiology & Food Safety Consultants LLC, at the consortium’s semi-annual meeting in March.


    NCFST Honors Unilever’s Debbie Meiners with 2009 Director’s Award (.pdf)

    March 20, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), presented posthumously the NCFST Director’s Award to Unilever’s Mary Deborah “Debbie” Meiners at the consortium’s semi-annual meeting March 18-19.


    NCFST Director Advises Congressional Committee Considering Food Safety Bill (.pdf)

    March 11, 2009 – Martin Cole, PhD, director of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), testified today before a US congressional subcommittee deliberating key concepts that could be included in a model food safety bill.


    NCFST Receives Regulatory Acceptance of Novel Food Sterilization Process (.pdf)

    February 27, 2009 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Avure Technologies, Inc., announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the research institute’s filing of a new food sterilization process. The NCFST filing is the first ever petition to FDA for the commercial use of pressure-assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) processes for application in the production of low acid foods.


    2008

    NCFST Honors Founders, Unveils New Tribute Video at 20th Anniversary Gala (.pdf)

    October 25, 2008 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), sailed toward the future while celebrating the past at its 20th Anniversary Gala held aboard the luxury vessel Odyssey on Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL, on October 16. The evening dinner-dance event, held during NCFST’s Annual Meeting, was attended by nearly 150 center members, staff and guests.


    NCFST Reports Successful FDA Filing, Addresses Global Food Issues at 2008 Annual Meeting (.pdf)

    October 20, 2008 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) hosted its annual meeting October 16-17, 2008, at the Wyndham Drake Hotel in Oak Brook, IL. Approximately 80 staff and consortium members from government and industry gathered to hear the latest updates on the center’s collaborative food safety and nutrition research projects, facilities upgrades, and emerging trends in global challenges for the food supply chain.

    FDA Commissioner Addresses NCFST/FDA Joint Workshop on Innovations in Nutrition Science (.pdf)

    Sept. 25, 2008 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., urged experts at a nutrition and health workshop today to seize new opportunities to advance scientific knowledge about the way in which foods promote health and prevent disease. Co-organized by the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) and FDA, the one-day workshop, “The Role of Innovation and Technology in Meeting Individual Nutritional Needs,” was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.


    Ecolab’s Katherine Swanson Receives 2008 NCFST Award for Food Safety (.pdf)

    April 15, 2008 – The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) presented its prestigious 2008 NCFST Food Safety Award to Katherine M.J. Swanson, PhD, vice president of food safety, Ecolab, at the consortium’s semi-annual meeting in March.

    Last modified: 02/26/2014 19:19:46

    Institute for Food Safety and Health | Illinois Institute of Technology | Moffett Campus
    6502 South Archer Rd. Bedford Park, IL 60501-1957 (P) 708.563.1576