The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
Cornell University has announced that it will soon include a food safety research and training facility, designed to help New York producers and growers better understand the guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, a list of stricter federal guidelines regarding food production.
The Institute for Food Safety at Cornell will be built with a $2 million grant from New York State, and will be located at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, New York. The institute “will harness Cornell’s existing strengths across food production systems in fruits, vegetables and dairy foods to help growers and processors comply with the demands” of the FSMA, according to the Cornell Chronicle.
“The long-term vision is for the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell to become the pre-eminent source of scientific research, training and outreach in dairy and produce safety in the U.S. and beyond,” said Kathryn J. Boor, a dean at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Accomplishing this goal will not only support economic growth of the produce and dairy industry in New York, but it will also help increase exports for dairy and produce products.”
Susan K. Brown, director of the NYSAES, describes the institute as coming at a critical time in the agricultural industry, given growing concerns for the country’s food safety standards. “The issue of food safety has never been more important, said Brown. “While we have the technology to trace back to sources of contamination in our food supply, the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell will proactively help prevent such contamination from the start by providing training and the knowledge base to conduct state-of-the-art safe agricultural practices.”