AURORA, Colo. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named a Colorado agency-university collaboration as one of the nation’s five new Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence. The new center is a joint effort between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado School of Public Health’s University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Colorado State University faculty.
The Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence were created as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The goal of the centers is to create partnerships between state health departments, schools of public health and agriculture schools to improve foodborne illness outbreak surveillance and investigations. Colorado was selected through a highly competitive selection process, along with Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee and Florida.
“Colorado has been a leader in efficient and effective foodborne illness investigations, including last year’s investigation of listeria in cantaloupe,” said CDPHE Executive Director Dr. Urbina. “This work, led by disease control experts at the department of health and its state laboratory, helps to reduce the spread of infection through foodborne illness.
“Forty-eight million Americans become ill each year from contaminated food,” stated Colorado School of Public Health assistant professor Elaine Scallan. “Selection as an Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence will strengthen our ability to improve food safety both regionally and nationally.”
Foodborne illnesses cost the United States $152 billion per year, an average cost of $1,850 each time someone gets sick from food, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Dr. Urbina said, “One goal of the Food Safety Modernization Act is to identify best practices that can be implemented to identify outbreaks more quickly and solve them faster. Another will be to develop training for students and public health professionals in outbreak detection and response.”
Learn more about the CDC’s Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence at http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/fsma.html
About the Colorado School of Public Health
The Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only accredited school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed by the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues, including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries. http://publichealth.ucdenver.edu