10.03.08

Burr Announces Grant to Develop Rapid Response Teams

Money will increase response capability to food-borne hazards

U.S. Senator Richard Burr today announced that North Carolina has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1.5 million over 3 years on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These funds will be used to set up Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to allow states to more promptly react to potential threats to our food supply.

"As we have seen recently, our nation is in need of increased food safety measures to ensure that public health in America is not jeopardized by bad food. This grant will help provide North Carolina with the resources it needs to properly and effectively respond to food-borne illness outbreaks in the future," Burr said.

The implementation of RRTs plays an integral role in the FDA's new Food Protection Plan. The purpose of the Food Protection Plan is to address both intentional and unintentional food contamination in order to protect consumers. RRTs implement a crisis management system to respond to all food hazard incidents in the farm-to-table continuum of food production and delivery. The money will go towards establishing the response team, conducting a program assessment, purchasing additional equipment and supplies, and training and funding personnel. The formation of RRTs will also aid in communication both amongst response groups and between the FDA and consumers in the event of a food-borne outbreak.